The Chill Factor is one of those movies that flew under my radar growing up. Once Arrow Video announced it would be releasing a Blu-ray version and I saw the artwork for the cover; they had my attention. Arrow was gracious enough to send us a review copy. So, I happily popped the disc into my player anticipating a gruesome snowboarding adventure! Boy, was I severely led astray!
The Chill Factor opens with scenes of people cruising around on their snowmobiles with beach sounding surfer music playing in the background which had me nervous. This music doesn’t match up to what I’m watching. It certainly doesn’t match up to the snowboarder’s helmet with an icicle impaling the visor. What am I about to get into? We are then treated to a premonition of a snowmobile accident with narration by Jeanie, one of girls in the group of riders. Could she be the lone survivor?
The gang of friends ride up to a bar, which oddly enough is filled with rednecks, racist rednecks at that. An altercation goes down with one of the locals and the only black girl in the group. A very awkward scene that serves no purpose to further the story and I wondered how this wasn’t left on the cutting room floor. The gang gathers at a table and is treated to free drinks by the waitress who witnessed the scene and is now apologetic. Two of the friends decide to challenge each other to a race that happens to be thirty miles out of town. Things seem to be taking a turn in efforts to lift the story up and then Tom, who is Jeanie’s boyfriend is seen rubbing his sister’s ass, which once again does absolutely nothing to further the story. The possible incestuous relationship is never mentioned again in the entire film. The hell is going on here?
Moving on! The crew makes their way out to the lake and the pair of tough guys have their race. Chaos ensues and one of the guys jumps from his snowmobile while Ass Grabbing Tom faceplants right into a tree and suffers a massive head injury. The group is thirty miles from town, so they don’t want to travel with Tom for fear of moving him. Instead they move him anyway and the group ends up in an abandoned church.
Still with me? Because I’m not mad if you went to another part of the site, but if you are still with me, good! Let’s move on. As luck would have it, one of the friends is a medical student, so he knows precisely what to do. Tom has a concussion and he needs to rest. I’m not a medical student and know you are supposed to keep a person with a head injury awake! And let’s just put a cotton shirt over his left hand with exposed bones. So, after a bunch of nonsense talk and believe me there is plenty of it; one of the gang heads to town to get help.
The group begin to search the creepy church and uncover newspaper clippings detailing killings and then they hit the jackpot when they come across a busted looking wannabe Ouija board complete with a compass that points to the letters and an eyeball in the center. It looks kinda cool….I guess. Of course, they are going to play with it and ask it questions and eventually Concussion Tom gets possessed by a demon and begins to kill his friends one by one.
The Chill Factor is something special. Not my kind of special, but I imagine there are people out there that has a soft spot in their heart for this film. It is full of camp. It is funny at parts, mostly where it isn’t intended to be funny. If you are escaping a killer, why are you going to stop so he can point out your dead friend before the chase continues? Moments like this had me shaking my head so hard that I am surprised it didn’t do a 360 like I was possessed as Grab Ass Tom. The acting is atrocious. The music is out of sorts, there is only one cool kill scene and my thoughts are the budget killed this movie when it comes down to it. Jeanie narrating the story must be the most questionable aspect of the film for me. So, I know she will survive. But her thoughts are thrown in at random and have zero flow to them. I really wished she would have shut up most of the time. There wasn’t drama in her interpretation, no matter how hard she tried.
I appreciate that Arrow took a chance with The Chill Factor. I believe that there are diamonds in the rough, but this is not one of them. The restoration looks good. The sound is a bit off at the beginning, and there are several special features. Overall, I wasn’t a fan. As much as I was looking forward to The Chill Factor, in the end there was nothing chilling about it.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original uncompressed stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley
- Brand new on-camera interview with makeup artist Jeffery Lyle Segal
- Brand new on-camera interview with production manager Alexandra Reed
- Brand new on-camera interview with stunt coordinator Gary Paul
- Still Gallery
- Original VHS trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach TO BE REVEALED
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Mike White