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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 07.24.20] thriller

Imagine for a moment that you're on a road trip when a blizzard hits. You pull over to wait it out but soon find yourself buried in feet of snow and you can't get out. Now you have to find some way to survive until you can get rescued. This is the premise of Centigrade.

The film is based on a real-life 2002 incident in which an American couple travelled to the arctic mountains of Norway and after pulling over during a snowstorm, woke up to find themselves trapped in their SUV, buried underneath layers of snow and ice. It's not clear how much writer/director Brendan Walsh's movie takes from the real-life story beyond the buried in snow scenario but the film, a two-hander starring Genesis Rodriguez and Vincent Piazza, certainly appears to ratchet tension and drama.

I love a good close-quarters movie. I like the challenge they pose to the filmmakers: how to make a singular, often constrained location, interesting for 90 minutes. And I also like that they pose a challenge to the audience: are you willing to go on this ride? It doesn't always work but when it does, movies like 127 Hours, The Descent, Buried, Altitude, it can be hugely rewarding and the trailer for Centigrade suggests this could be another good one.

Centigrade opens theatrically and will be available on VOD August 28.

Recommended Release: Frozen

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