Available on Blu-ray from Mon 15 July 2019
The saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In no area is this more true than in cinema. To some nothing could be worse than attending a 12 hour trash fest like Psychorama Sleepover or All Night Horror Madness, but to others it is sheer heaven. This love of trash movies was highlighted in era’s such as the 1950s, in part due to the introduction of shows such as The Vampira Show, and the 1980s due to the rising popularity of home media releases in which horror movies sold bucket loads almost entirely thanks to their creative cover art. The Chill Factor is one of these.
Following a gang of young couples who must take refuge in an old camp cabin after a snowmobiling incident, the night soon turns into a nightmare after a ouija board is brought in to the mix and an evil spirit is unleashed. It has everything one could hope for from a straight to VHS horror film.
The film opens with the gang stopping by a local bar for a few drinks. Before too long racial remarks are thrown around, a fight breaks out, an incest angle is introduced and then immediately dropped, and a snowmobile race is challenged from one member of the group to another. Very quickly it is clear what type of film this is. It all promises a fun trashy ride. As the first third of the movie continues the film keeps its promise. Shallow characters, soap opera style dialogue and sitcom style acting allow for an entertaining first thirty minutes.
Once the gang find themselves taking shelter in the cabin the film immediately restricts itself. Taking such a crazy plot and trapping it inside of, basically, one room for thirty minutes of… nothing. It drags down the film’s pacing and completely bores the audience. Trash films are far from being well made movies but worth it for the strange mix of absurdity and entertainment, as well as the hilarity that can come from the acknowledgement of terrible film making. To take the entertainment aspect out of that just creates a bad movie. The Chill Factor does manage to bring itself back up in the final third but it isn’t enough to awaken the audience from the sleep that the film put them under.