12 Slays of Christmas: Wind Chill & Gremlins

ann hale gets two horror films in time for christmas…

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wind_chill

Tonight’s film, Wind Chill, is just something I stumbled upon. It is fairly recent; made in 2007, starring Emily Blunt. As I said before with Dead End, I love back road car accident horror movies so this decision was a no brainer.

The characters have no names. That is important to know so you will understand why I don’t introduce them. I will just call them by the names of the actors, Emily and Ashton.

Emily needs a ride home to Delaware for Christmas. She catches a ride from Ashton, whom she found out about on a ride share board. From the start, the ride seems doomed. Ashton’s car is old and beat up. It’s freezing cold and his window doesn’t even roll up all the way. On the ride, Ashton seems to know things about Emily that he couldn’t possibly know by just being in one class with her in college. Emily even catches him asking for directions, which makes her think he isn’t actually from Delaware. After asking a few questions, she finds that he, in fact, is not. Ashton takes a “scenic” route on a snowy highway where they are hit by a car and spin into a snow bank. When they come to, they find that there is no second set of tire tracks, making it impossible that a car had hit them.

Stuck in the car, in the snow, on the side of an empty highway, Ashton reveals to Emily that he really only lives ten minutes from the school. He sits behind her in class and saw her texting her friend that she needed a ride home, so he made a sign for the ride board for her to see. Since he wasn’t brave enough to hit on her, he thought it would be romantic to drive her six hours home to spend time with her.

They keep seeing a group of people dressed in black robes walk by on the road but none of them stop to help. Ashton takes off looking for them and finds that his wounds from the accident are far worse than he thought. Meanwhile, Emily has caught up to a few people and finds that they are all ghosts of people whose lives were claimed on the same road. Now Emily and Ashton are forced to relive a crime from 50 years ago that keeps replaying on that road.

Until now, I have only seen Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada, which was way to chick flicky for me to enjoy. In Wind Chill, I was able to see some decent range. I had never heard of Ashton Holmes before as I have never seen anything he was in except a couple of episodes of Revenge that I was forced to watch against my will. Despite how awful that show was, Ashton was excellent in this movie.

I very much enjoyed this film. The budget was high, the plot kept me focused and entertained, and the acting was surprisingly good. The only complaint I would have is that the ending doesn’t grab you. It ends very….weak. However, this isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching. In fact, the film was good enough to carry a weak ending, which doesn’t happen often. I suggest this film be added to your holiday horror list as I will be adding it to mine.

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For Christmas, I want a Mogwai. It is probably not a good idea for me to have one since I’m a total sucker and would totally feed him after midnight but at least we know that my pale butt would keep him out of bright light. I wouldn’t name him Gizmo though; I think I’d call him Mr. Mogwagi.

If it isn’t terribly obvious by now, I’m watching Gremlins tonight.

Mr. Peltzer heads into a Chinese oddities shop to try and sell his invention-the Bathroom Buddy. While inside, he finds a Mogwai-an adorable little fuzzy creature that sings. Wanting to buy it for his son, Billy, for Christmas, he offers $100 for it but the old man who owns the shop refuses. Knowing they desperately need the money, the old man’s grandson sells Mr. Peltzer the Mogwai anyway. He only has to follow three rules: 1) Keep him out of bright light. 2) Don’t get him wet. 3) Never feed him after midnight. Named Gizmo, the Mogwai gets into a little accident involving Corey Feldman and a jar full of water. As a result, Gizmo spawns off five new Mogwai. These news ones are nothing like Gizmo. While Giz is sweet, these guys are obviously trouble. They trick Billy into feeding them chicken after midnight, a mistake that turns them into gremlins.

As a child, this movie freaked me out. The whole metamorphosis scene is terrifying. They have these giant goopy green pods splitting open with fog and sharp green hands coming out. The worst for me always was when they attack Billy’s mother at home. I still cannot hear “Do You Hear What I Hear” without getting a little nervous. Now, as an adult, I can see that they are actually pretty funny. They dress in clothes and sing Christmas carols, they get wasted in a bar, they go see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the theater and sing along, and, my personal favorite, and they mess with old bitch Mrs. Deagle’s elevator chair, sending her flying out the window. It’s safe to say that I now find them adorable.

Let’s look at the benefits of this film: It is directed by Joe Dante whom you will know as the director of The Howling, The ‘Burbs and Piranha. It was written by Chris Columbus who directed: Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and wrote The Goonies. It was produced by Steven Spielberg, who needs no introduction. It stars an adorable young Phoebe Cates after her famous pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and there is a very young Corey Feldman before his famous role in The Goonies. If that isn’t enough for you, there are the gremlins themselves. Who doesn’t like hilarious little creatures that terrorize people?

This is a great Christmas movie to watch with your kids but you might want to wait until they are a little older. If you show this to a five year old, you might be dealing with bed wetting and night terrors for a bit. That is, unless you’re one of those actually responsible parents that teaches your children real from fake. Watch responsibly, enjoy and if you find a gremlin toy anywhere, send it my way!

Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80’s action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.