ComingSoon.net recently visited the Vancouver set of TriStar Pictures and Revolution Studios’ new horror-thriller, Wind Chill, starring Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan and Ned Bellamy. Greg Jacobs (Criminal) directed the film, which was executive produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.
In the movie, opening in theaters on April 27, a young woman (Blunt) catches a ride home from a stranger (Holmes) 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.
Jacobs explained how Clooney and Soderbergh came on board. “I brought them in,” he told ComingSoon.net. “I’ve produced at lot of Steven Soderbergh’s movies and they executive produced my other movie. I brought it to Section 8 and said, ‘This is something I want to do’ and they got completely behind it and have been great and completely supportive. They were looking to do a genre movie, not a slasher movie but sort of a classical ghost story.”
Holmes told us why Blunt’s character needs a ride home for the holidays. “She missed the last flight home to Delaware where she’s living so we have this ride share board at our college and I post a note saying anyone needing a ride home call me.”
Blunt added, “It’s your worst nightmare of a ride share. She turns up and just sees the car and is like ‘Oh my God.’ The door doesn’t work and the windows are stuck open and there’s trash everywhere with this kind of odd guy.”
The duo gets stranded, and if that is not bad enough, the ghosts of people who died on that stretch of road haunt the area and begin to prey on them.
“Pretty soon after we turn onto that road, weird things start happening. My character really sort of denies it for awhile. She’s more sort of affected by the supernatural beings that might be messing with us. So right away she’s kind of really on edge,” Blunt said.
Like in any good thriller, you never know what the characters’ objectives really are.
“There’s an element to the movie that you might not know about. I don’t want to give much away, but you’re not really sure what my intentions are with this girl. Whether or not I’m a good guy or bad guy and that kind of plays into the drama,” Holmes added.
Apparently that’s also the case with Blunt’s character.
Adding to the mystery, Blunt mentioned that “She is not quite what she appears. Everybody is hiding something under their shell and she definitely is.”
The director explained, “It’s a classical ghost story. It’s not a movie like ‘Audition’ or ‘Hostel,’ it’s more like ‘The Shining.'”
The sound stage we saw was a recreation of the Summerland Mountains where they had just been shooting on location. There were snowcapped mountains (fake of course), huge, beautiful Christmas trees (also not real) and an old brown Oldsmobile with books, CDs, clothes, and laundry scattered throughout. Holmes and Blunt were in the car arguing because it has been about 18 hours since their wreck and both are on edge.
“In that scene I’m trying to find out what he’s really about,” Blunt said. “I’m kind of suspicious of him and that’s all I can say really.”
Holmes continued, “Tensions are running really high. My character and Emily’s character don’t know each other very well They’re very much strangers. By the end they are really relying on each other We really need each other to survive.”
The cast was tight-lipped about the scene and movie in general for fear they would give something away. Holmes had fake blood on the side of his head and all Jacobs would say was, “He gets a little injured in an accident and that’s sort of part of his demise.”
The cast and crew shot on location where the temperatures were well below freezing for about a month. According to Holmes, the weather is actually another character in the film.
“We were shooting in -28 degree temperatures I think it was really important for us to experience that. One of the hurdles I had trying to act out in this weather was that it was so cold I wasn’t able to really focus. All I could really do was shiver and kind of deliver the lines, but with not too much thought process. But I think it really worked. You need to see how bitterly cold it is out there for these two people.”
He said the weather definitely made everything look more real. “The cold was great. You can’t fake that stuff. If we had done the movie on a stage it wouldn’t have had the same impact. You have to be there at night freezing suffering through it. You can’t fake that stuff performance wise.”
Blunt actually got used to the coldness and didn’t realize just how acclimated she became to the climate until she had a few friends over.
“I had a dinner party at my house and all of the windows were open. I’m just fine with a t-shirt on and all my friends were like ‘can we shut the window.’ I’m like, ‘what’s the matter with you? Come on.’ This movie is not called ‘Wind Chill’ for nothing,” Blunt laughed.