Review by Kyle Hintz
Director: Brendan Walsh
Producers: Brendan Walsh, Amanda Bowers,
Screenplay: Brendan Walsh, Daley Nixon
In Norway for a small book tour, Naomi (Genesis Rodriguez) and Matt (Vincent Piazza), pull over on a desolate road and sleep in their car overnight to avoid a nasty storm. When they wake up, they find themselves snowed in. The windows and doors are frozen shut, the car won’t start and it’s 2002 so they only have an old cellphone with no service. On top of all that, Naomi is pregnant.
Based on true events, the limits are inherent in the premise, things can only advance and build so much given the dramatic situation, and what’s more we know we’re trapped in this car for the duration, so there won’t be too many surprises along the way. Directed by Brendan Walsh and written by Walsh and Daley Nixon, they do an admirable job of using their limitations to create conflict between the couple and build tension. The cinematography and the claustrophobia of the car really make the viewer crave that escape. And Rodriguez and Piazza play off each other well, creating believable characters and drawing us into the story.
There are more twists and turns in store than I anticipated, but eventually my suspension of disbelief was shattered when a snowplow passed within feet of their car (since they were on the side of a road that’s in regular use) and they didn’t break out and chase after it, or at least follow it to the nearest village, gas station, anything. Or better yet follow the path it has plowed, it must lead somewhere if they’re plowing it for vehicles to drive through. Granted, it may take some time for them to break through the ice, it doesn’t quite make sense that wouldn’t be their focus from then on.
All in all, it’s a very solid film. The frigid tension and claustrophobia is palpable. Though the faults are pretty obvious.
3 out of 5