Wind Chill

There are worse things than dying.

Emily as: Girl
Genre(s): Drama | Thriller | Horror
Written by: Joe Gangemi, Steven Katz
Directed by: Gregory Jacobs
Other Cast: Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan, Ned Bellamy, Chelan Simmons
Release Date: April 27, 2007 (Limited)
Production Budget:
Total Worldwide Gross: $285k
Filming Locations: Peachland, British Columbia, Canada

Christmas break. A young woman catches a ride home from a stranger she meets through a college ride board. Racing to beat a severe winter storm, the two young travelers take a shortcut down a remote country road, only to find themselves forced into a snow bank by a mysterious vehicle that engages them in a dangerous game of chicken. Over the long night that ensues, an intense relationship develops between the pair as they must brave the elements and confront the road’s sinister legacy that dates back to the terrible events that occurred there in the 1950s.

Production Info

  • Neither of the two main characters have names in the movie. They are simply referred to as Guy and Girl in the end credits.
  • Production lasted for 30 days. 22 days were spent on location in various locations in British Columbia, including Vancouver and Manning Park. The remaining days were filmed on a soundstage.
  • The film shares a small connection to My Summer of Love, in which Emily Blunt’s character Tamsin suggests Mona (Natalie Press) familiarize herself with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Here, Girl asks Guy about the final question of their philosophy paper, Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence.
  • Character Quotes

  • Would you get a look at that face, moody?
  • High school and philosophy, that pretty much covers everything, don’t you think? I guess that concludes the entertainment portion of today’s flight.
  • Christmas is like me racing back and forth between Mom and Dad, who split in my freshman year. So… Two turkey dinners, two trees, two sets of presents to return for store credit.
  • I’m not getting in the car with you, you psycho.
  • So you knew I was from Delaware, but how did you know I needed a ride home? I mean, I always fly. How could you possibly know that for the first time in my college career I was going Greyhound?
  • That’s pretty much the exact meal I’d order for my last day on Earth. You knew that, anyway. Weirdo. I’ll have to get a restraining order against you if we ever get out.
  • I feel so stuck, you know, in this role of being “difficult” and I don’t know how to shake it off. I’m getting real good at being on my own.
  • It’s that song. You turn the radio on and you listen out for that one song. It comes on just before he shows up. You gotta listen and when you hear it, you just yell and you honk the horn and I can hear you, and I can make it back. I can make it back.
  • Guy: If I have to drive, you have to talk to me.
    Girl: What, I’m the in-flight entertainment?
    Guy: That’s how this ride sharing thing works, okay?
    Girl: Really?
    Guy: Division of labor. We split everything 50-50.
    Girl: Oh, well, I got news for you. I don’t get much more entertaining than when I’m on the phone.
  • Guy: We had a class together, you know. Into to modern philosophy.
    Girl: What? There was like a million people in that class. It was like Woodstock.
  • [Girl hands over money]
    Guy: What’s that for?
    Girl: It’s my half of the gas.
    Guy: No, it’s fine. It’s fine. No.
    Girl: Come on… What do you mean? “This is how ride sharing works. Division of labor. We split everything 50-50.” Come on, take the money.
  • Guy: Open up. Can you pop the lock? Come on, it’s freezing out here.
    Girl: Well, better get used to it, asshole.
    Guy: What the hell is with you? What did I do?
    Girl: You drove us here. That’s what you did. What the hell did you think you were doing?
    Guy: I thought I was driving you home. What are you talking about?
    Girl: You’re not driving me home, you don’t live near my home, and this piece of shit isn’t driving anywhere. Now, what are we doing here? Why did you get off the highway?
    Guy: Look, I told you, okay? This is a shortcut, all right?
    Girl: Oh, come on.
    Guy: Anyway, you’re the one who said she was so bored driving on the highway.
    Girl: I was. I was bored.
    Guy: Well, this used to be called Scenic 606 because there’s an amazing view of the valley out here.
    Girl: You’ve never been here before so don’t pretend you knew it’s a shortcut, and there’s an amazing view of shit because it’s pitch black out.
  • Guy: I can’t believe you left all the food in that parking lot.
    Girl: Oh, my God, I will write you a check for 60 bucks if it’ll make you get off my case.
    Guy: Let’s just eat, all right?
    Girl: You’re killing me.
  • Guy: Story of my life, never fails.
    Girl: What?
    Guy: You, girls, women. I mean you seem so cool at first…
    Girl: What are you talking about?
    Guy: You should all come with a warning like car mirrors. Objects in belly shirts are flakier than they appear.
    Girl: You wanna talk about flaky, ’cause I’ll go there. How about guys who pretend to be from Delaware to meet girls?
    Guy: Okay, how about we just stop talking altogether, huh?
    Girl: That’s perfect.
    Guy: All right, great, great.
    Girl: That’s perfect, ’cause now I’m not some Nietzsche-spouting girl of your dreams, suddenly I’m not worth knowing, right?
  • Guy: You awake?
    Girl: I don’t wanna sleep.
    Guy: Why?
    Girl: I’m just afraid I won’t wake up, you know. That’s what they say happens when you freeze to death. It’s just like going to sleep.
  • Quoting: Emily Blunt

    On the script: I read it in, like, an hour and then had a completely sleepless night. And I woke up in the morning, I thought, “This is really something I want to do.” You know, it’s a good sign that off the page, it’s frightening. It’s a character piece, it’s a real character story. Great roles, you know, for young people to play. And awkward and quirky, and real.

    On her attraction to the role: I’m just somebody who likes a challenge, I think. And I think it inspired me, the script, to kind of try something new. It’s that disabling fear that I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced. And so you just channel as much as you know and let it escalate.

    On the set-pieces: His [Michael Toby, Set Director] sets are so eerie and stark. You know, for example, like, the car is just everybody’s worst nightmare of, you, know, sharing a car with somebody and that’s the car you end up riding in. I just thought all the attention to details, like chewing gum under the dash and, like, stuff all over the floor and it’s filthy. It literally… It really helped. Because I got into the car for the first time, I was like, “This is so unpleasant.” You feel like you’re breathing in dust immediately. He creates these very intimate kind of detail spaces and then these huge sweeping sets of the stretch of road and all the kind of trees that he added in, and it was just a very eerie kind of atmosphere in which to shoot that he created for us.

    On the challenges of the shoot: That ravine killed me. It was so steep. Because it has to look like you might not be able to get down it. I mean, it has to be steep enough to the point where you may fall but not to the point where you actually will fall, you know. It was just up and down, up and down, up and down, and my thighs were killing me. But, you know, everyone kept saying, “Buns of steel”, by the end of it and I was like, “Yeah, just keep that in mind. Keep that in mind.” But, no, I think I pulled every single muscle in my body on this one.

    On the filming conditions: After the first week it was like minus eight, minus 10, it was completely bearable. But the first week for some reason was, like, 25 below and your jaw locks out and you’re trying to say lines and I couldn’t even speak. And your hands, freeze into claws. It was unbelievable. I’ve never felt cold like that in my life.

    Critical Response

    Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Blunt, the young British actress who pilfered scenes in The Devil Wears Prada as Meryl Streep’s snippy first assistant, does a great job here playing a similarly snobbish but secretly vulnerable character.

    Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: Director Gregory Jacobs does an excellent job of delivering suitably creepy atmospherics, and the young stars (Blunt using an effective American accent) suffer their repeated scares in appealing fashion.

    Andy Webster, New York Times: While Mr. Holmes vacillates fluidly between cherubic innocence and veiled menace, this is Ms. Blunt’s movie. The actress, a strong asset in The Devil Wears Prada, has a winning way with melting hauteur, and she easily carries this spare diversion. Expect her to carry much bigger movies before long.

    Justin Chang, Variety: Blunt broadens her register as yet another bitch you can’t help but love, no matter how spoiled, cranky, sarcastic and paranoid she gets.