Ive always really enjoyed ‘bottle movies’, you know those films where someone or a group of someones find themselves in a limited location and for some reason have to spend the rest or most of the film trying to get out of that location. Great examples are Open Water (a couple bobbing up and down in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sharks), Buried (Ryan Reynolds wakes up to find out he has been buried alive), Frozen (not the Disney one, but the Adam Green film) which has three skiers stuck high above the ground during a snowstorm AND overnight All great films and if you havent seen them, please do check them out.
So i was pretty happy when I was browsing the Shudder site and saw Centigrade which had the following synopsis.
“A married couple find themselves trapped in their frozen vehicle after a blizzard and struggle to survive amid plunging temperatures and unforeseen obstacles. At -40 degrees your lungs freeze and time is running out!”
Yep it had me intrigued and so, even though it was around 11pm at night, I turned off the lights and headed in. to see what this Brendan Walsh directed film had in store for me.And what a treat. Not sure why I love ‘bottle movies’ I think its because I like to try and work out how I would get out of any given situation, would I survive? Would everyone else? What solution would I come up with and more importantly, do the characters in the film find themselves choosing the same solutions as I do (from the other side of the screen) Also my final test for a great ‘bottle film’ is ‘does the writer or filmmaker leave any gapping plot holes that characters could choose to survive, but for some reason don’t bother choosing’ Well for Centigrade, it passed all my tests for a great ‘bottle movie’ I loved it. Based on a true story the film has Naomi (played by Genesis Rodriguez) and Matt (played by Vincent Piazza) driving in Norway when a bad blizzard comes into play. The couple decide to pull over for the night to avoid any crashes and wake up the next morning to find the blizzard still going, and that they are trapped inside their car, with the windows and doors frozen shut. With no sign of the weather calming down, and the husband and wife on limited resources. How on earth will they get out alive? Will they get out alive and how on earth can the writers, filmmakers and actors keep this going for just short of 90 minutes.
Well the writers, director and actors manage it wonderfully and the film was and is super tense, the weather outside shows no mercy, and the tension rises inside the car as Naomi and Matt becomes more exhausted, hungrier, and in dire need of a way out of this crazy situation.Oh and did I mention that Naomi is pregnant.
I find the writing side of things super clever when it comes to ‘bottle movies’ and can imagine the writer pacing up and down their room trying to make sure there are no plot holes or obvious solutions to the onscreen dilemma of getting out of a scary situation. With such a simplistic plot, I can imagine its a very complicated writing process to plug up possible holes. I have read some reviews that commented on not much going on, and that does baffle me, but I guess not everyone loves ‘bottle movies’ as much as I do. I found there to be a ton going on in Centigrade. When watching it, put yourself in the mind of one of the characters and try to imagine how you’d react in their situation. I do that with these types of films, which i find immerse me even more in the world.
and lets think about the technical aspects of making a film like that.. Its a tiny set (or a tiny car if it was on location) which of course helps enhance the trapped feeling for the characters and the viewers, but how cool (no pun intended) would it have been to see a making of this film. Im intrigued! and so im giving a shout to the cast, the crew, the writer, and director of Centigrade. What a cracking job youve all done and thanks for keeping me hugely entertained watching Centigrade.