Joseph Gangemi & Steven Katz
1 INT. UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL - DAY 1
A GIRL'S FACE
fills the screen, twenty-one years old, pensive, pretty.
Camera lingers on her in CLOSE UP, noticing details: hair
worn stylishly messy, no makeup, double-pierced ears (though
no earrings today), the corner of her bottom lip a little
frayed where she's been chewing it ruminatively.
She's the kind of beauty who can withstand such bad lighting:
institutional lighting, florescents HUMMING overhead, joining
the chorus of ambient noises: a COUGH, papers RUSTLING, the
SCRIBBLE of a pen, someone SHIFTING in their chair, etc. The
shot lingers until it becomes uncomfortable, invasive,
scrutinizing this unhappy girl in an unguarded moment, then -
A new sound breaks her reverie, a muted BUZZING o.s., and her
eyes cut down to -
skittering sideways across the closed cover of her blue final
exam book, like a bug. She has an INCOMING TEXT MESSAGE.
WIDEN TO REVEAL:
2 INT. UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL - ESTABLISHING - DAY 2
Our GIRL is just one of two hundred other STUDENTS filling a
big auditorium-style lecture hall. Around her, classmates
sit grim-faced, scribbling to beat the clock.
OUR GIRL traps the buzzing cellphone before it skitters right
off the edge of the half-desk, looks at the display.
INSERT CELLPHONE DISPLAY -
BACK TO SCENE
Our girl leans back a little in her seat, gives a little nod
to her friend seated across the lecture hall. Types a reply.
INSERT CELLPHONE DISPLAY -
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2 CONTINUED: 2
INTERCUT: CELL PHONE DISPLAY / OUR GIRL
She looks down as her friend text-messages:
how r u getting home?
She sends the message, a moment later the reply appears:
sux 4 U
She glances up, sees her friend shoot her a sympathetic look.
That's it, people! Wrap it up!
There's a collective GROAN and the sound of two hundred
panicked asses twisting in their seats.
Our girl feels her phone buzz, looks down to see a final text
message from her friend:
y don't u check the ride board?
A slow smile lights up her face at the idea, as all around
her students rise and begin stampeding out.
PROCTOR (O.S.) (cont'd)
(shouting to be heard)
Test results will be posted on the
Philosophy Department's web site in
two weeks... Enjoy your break and
have a Happy New Year.
She gathers her things, begins to make her way down the
stairs when -
- she's JOSTLED from behind by a CLASSMATE bolting past her.
She hands in her exam book, waves to her friend, and exits.
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3 EXT. NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY - VARIOUS SHOTS - DAY 3
Campus is a ghost town, most students having already left for
the holidays: the DORMS abandoned, the LIBRARY STACKS empty,
the LABS silent, the DINING HALLS eerie.
Our GIRL hurries across the deserted college green dotted
with little hillocks of snow from an earlier storm. She
passes a forlorn pine tree decorated with CHRISTMAS LIGHTS,
on her way to...
4 EXT. UNIVERSITY - QUAD - DAY 4
She arrives at a large, partially-enclosed KIOSK covered with
dozens of student-made notices, printed in a rainbow of eye-
catching computer fonts and colors. A sign at the top reads:
She scans the posted notices. One catches her eye: torn
hastily from a spiral notebook, on which is scrawled a
NE1 Need a Ride 2 Delaware 12/23?
A gust of wind riffles the notice.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
DECEMBER 23, 3:12 P.M.
5 EXT. UNIVERSITY - STUDENT PARKING LOT - DAY 5
Our girl wheels her suitcase across a largely-empty parking
lot. It's late afternoon, and already dark enough for the
sodium vapor streetlights to have come on. A few snowflakes
swirl in their sickbed glow.
We follow her to...
A beat-to-shit 1988 OLDSMOBILE idling in the middle of the
lot. An unbroken dusting of snow indicates it's been the
only vehicle here for some time.
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5 CONTINUED: 5
An underclassman GUY, 19, is asleep behind the wheel of the
Oldsmobile. He's skinny, dressed in thrift-shop clothes, has
the complexion of someone who doesn't get out in the sun
much. His car is filled with all of his earthly possessions:
books, CD's in plastic milk crates, dirty laundry, etc.
She knocks on the driver's side window, startling him awake.
He stirs, blinks uncomprehendingly at the empty parking lot.
Do you think you could have parked
any further from the entrance?
The sight of her quickly snaps him awake. He scrambles out.
(still a little groggy)
There were still cars when I got
here. I thought we were going to
get an early start to stay ahead of
What time is it?
Quarter past three.
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5 CONTINUED: (2) 5
I'm two hours late?! Shit. Sorry.
You should've just left without me.
That's what I would've done. Hurry
up and pop the trunk so I can stow
She walks back to the trunk, which is stuffed to capacity
with more of his things: CLOTHES, a bag of GROCERIES, etc.
(calling to him)
Jesus, I'm just going home for
Christmas. What are you doing?
Pulling up stakes and movin' your
Oakie family to Californey?
She starts rearranging the trunk, making room for her bag.
I'm kinda getting kicked out of my
apartment. I didn't have time to
find someplace new before exams.
She takes out some of his things. Puts them on the ground.
Here, let me help you with that-
Why don't you just get the engine
started and put the heat on? I can
He watches her rearrange his things, a little flummoxed.
Well? What are you waiting for? I
thought you wanted to stay ahead of
He hurries back to the driver's seat. Starts the engine.
She hurriedly crams everything back in and slams the trunk.
Then runs around to the passenger side and pulls on the door
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5 CONTINUED: (3) 5
Now it's her turn to look impatient. She jerks on the handle
again, until he leans over to open the door from the inside.
Sorry... it sticks.
She rolls her eyes, climbs in.
6 INT. OLDSMOBILE - DAY 6
She climbs in, tries to power her window all the way to the
top. It keeps getting stuck, leaving a half-inch gap.
She shoots him a look: "What the hell?"
That's as far as it goes. Sorry.
She rolls her eyes, never once interrupting her phone
He puts the car in gear and they set out on their six hour
7 EXT. UNIVERSITY - STUDENT PARKING LOT - THAT MOMENT 7
As they drive off, reveal: a forgotten bag of GROCERIES,
still sitting on the ground.
8 INT. OLDSMOBILE - DAY 8
They leave campus. He eavesdrops as she rattles on.
(on her cell)
Where are you?
No, we're just rolling out...
... Believe me, I tried, but I
couldn't get a flight. It's my own
fault for waiting `til the last
9 & 10 OMITTED 9 & 10
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11 INT./EXT. OLDSMOBILE - DUSK 11
She looks out at the passing landscape as they cruise south
on the interstate. The road is wet, though the snow hasn't
yet started to stick.
(laughs; on her cell)
What, are you kidding? I'm bored to
tears... No, we're still on the
highway... how should I know, all
highways look exactly alike.
She looks up, catches him shooting irritated looks her way.
You going to be on that thing the
He doesn't finish the thought, just chokes back whatever he
was about to say. Focuses on the highway ahead.
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11 CONTINUED: 11
(on her cell)
Uh oh, somebody's upset. I better
call you back.
Who do you think? Ride Board Guy.
She hangs up, aims the camera phone lens his way, and snaps
another digital picture of him.
She puts the cellphone away, looks up to see him glaring at
This isn't cool. If I have to
drive, you have to talk to me.
What, I'm the in-flight
That's how this ride-sharing thing
works. Division of labor. We split
everything fifty-fifty... Get it?
I've got news for you, I don't get
much more entertaining than when
I'm on the phone.
He darkens, mutters under his breath:
This is turning out great.
What's that mean?
They ride in silence for a moment. She tries to strike up a
conversation, by way of extending an olive branch.
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11 CONTINUED: (2) 11
So you're from Wilmington, huh?
Where'd you go to school?
(falters for a second)
Um... Saint Vitus Academy.
St. Vitus? You're making that up.
You're acquainted with every school
in the area?
Pretty much, yeah.
Including all the Catholic ones?
Because that's where I went. Saint
Vitus Academy for Catholic Boys.
They drive for a few moments in silence.
We had a class together, you know.
Intro to Modern Philosophy.
He looks at her expectantly, as if she should remember him.
What? There were about a million
people in that class. It was like
Woodstock. Did you ever see so many
Eastern religion types?
So, what's your major?
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11 CONTINUED: (3) 11
She hoots with laughter. But he's not kidding. He seems
surprised by her response.
You aren't majoring in philosophy?
I don't know. I just assumed...
Why would you assume anything about
me? We just met.
(a little defensive)
I don't know... I guess you just...
look like a philosophy major.
She enjoys the pained look of surprise on his face, lets him
twist for a second before explaining:
I only took Philosophy because I
need a humanities credit. I heard
it was an easy `A.'
Hey, that reminds me. What'd you
put for the extra credit question
on the final?
Nietzsche's theory of eternal
Which is basically reincarnation,
No, they're not really the same
thing. Reincarnation is when you
come back as something different
and eternal recurrence is when you
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11 CONTINUED: (4) 11
live the same life over and over
He looks out at the road, reciting Nietzsche from memory:
The eternal hourglass of existence
is turned over and over, and you
with it, a grain of dust.
She looks at him as if he's nuts. A beat, then:
He died of syphilis, you know.
He stares grimly at the road ahead, biting back a comment.
High school and philosophy. Pretty
much covers everything, don't you
think? Guess that concludes the
entertainment portion of today's
She turns on the radio, finds a station with Christmas music.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
12 EXT. INTERSTATE - EVENING 12
The Oldsmobile passes slower-moving VEHICLES and zooms by.
Its interior light is on.
13 INT. OLDSMOBILE - EVENING 13
Her bare feet are propped on the dash, as she removes the old
Widen. She's turned the front seat into a nail salon.
Cotton balls, emery boards, bottles of clear and colored
varnish are strewn everywhere.
She picks a bottle, opens it, begins painting her nails.
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13 CONTINUED: 13
Next gas station you see, do me a
favor and pull over. I gotta pee.
Okay, I'll keep my eyes peeled.
She looks up from her feet, giving him a funny look.
That phrase. `Keeping your eyes
peeled.' It's kind of creepy, if
you think about it.
Huh. Actually, yeah, it is sorta.
His eyes linger on her freshly painted toes on the dashboard.
She catches him staring. He blushes, embarrassed. Says:
... Speaking of peeling eyeballs.
Did you know that's how they do
that corrective eye surgery?
They use a laser.
Well, yeah, they do... But there's
definitely peeling involved too. I
saw it on Discovery Health. If more
people knew about the peeling part
they might think twice before going
under the knife.
I'm having corrective eye surgery
over the break.
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13 CONTINUED: (2) 13
An awkward beat.
It's okay. I'm not really worried.
I'm not worried?
You're getting it done...
Because I hate wearing glasses.
But they look good on you.
How do you know? I don't wear them
outside my dorm.
He gets a cornered look.
You sure? You never... to class or
anything? Because I could swear I-
Huh. Weird. I wonder why I thought-
He breaks off, saved by the sight of a gas station up ahead.
Hey, look! Here's your gas station!
She looks at him across the dark front seat, suspicious.
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14 EXT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - NIGHT 14
A florescent oasis in the gathering dark. A tow truck and
several old wrecks rusting in the weeds surrounding it.
The Oldsmobile pulls off the highway and up to a gas pump.
15 EXT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - GAS PUMP / OLDSMOBILE - MINUTES 15
He starts the pump. Notices her still seated in the car.
He knocks on her window. She opens the door.
I thought you had to pee?
I didn't expect us to find a
bathroom so soon. My nails aren't
He looks over the roof of the car, sizing up the distance
across the slushy parking lot.
Well if you want, I can carry you.
That's okay, they'll be dry in just
Come on, I'm good at this...
You are not carrying me inside.
He opens her door, pulls her legs around, and crouches down
What are you doing?! Wait -
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15 CONTINUED: 15
Suddenly he's rising and she throws her arms instinctively
around his neck.
Unsettling as the deeply-weird moment is, she decides it's
best to just humor him. But first -
I need my purse.
He crouches a little so she can reach to retrieve it.
16 INT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - NIGHT 16
The door JINGLES as he enters, carrying her. His face is red
from effort, hers from embarrassment.
He just stands there. She taps him on the shoulder.
You can let me down now.
He crouches so she can slide off. She gives him a look,
slips on the pair of flip-flops she's brought with her, then
heads off in search of the ladies bathroom.
Meanwhile, our guy saunters up toward the front of the
convenience store. He nods to the twitchy CLERK, 20s,
engrossed in a tattoo fetish magazine behind the counter.
17 INT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - BATHROOM - THAT MOMENT 17
The toilet is gross, tiled a queasy green, graffiti-covered.
Our girl finishes peeing, gets up from the toilet, uses her
foot to flush and her elbow to turn on the faucet. She
washes her hands, holding them under the automatic dryer.
She wipes her hands dry on her jeans. Is about to exit when
she catches sight of her reflection in the dirty mirror.
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17 CONTINUED: 17
On impulse she takes out her glasses from her purse. Slips
them on. Checks herself out in the mirror.
With her glasses on she notices something scratched into the
CLOSE ON MIRROR
Where we see:
"J.C.R. 12-24-88 R.I.P."
She frowns, slips her glasses back in their case and moves to
exit. But when she grips the doorknob she finds it LOCKED.
She frowns. Rattles the doorknob a few times.
A look of panic crosses her face, and she starts rattling the
doorknob harder. Did someone lock her in?
Suddenly the doorknob comes off in her hand.
She pounds on the door with the heel of her palm, shouts:
HEY. HEY, I'M LOCKED IN HERE!
She turns, scanning the filthy bathroom, notices something.
A VENT above the sink, near the ceiling.
BACK TO SCENE
She puts a foot up into the sink, testing it to see if it can
take her weight. Then climbs up and straightens on wobbly
legs, until her face is near the filthy dust-clogged vent.
(calling into vent)
HEY. CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?! HEY!
Her voice ECHOES weirdly. When the echoes die down she hears
something from the vent that makes her scowl: LAUGHTER. As if
our guy and the clerk are having a good laugh at her expense.
Pissed off now, she climbs back down, and attacks the broken
doorknob with renewed urgency.
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17 CONTINUED: (2) 17
And finally succeeds in getting the door to open.
18 INT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - OUTSIDE BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS 18
As she exits she sees the CLERK and our guy talking quietly,
as if they know one another. She hesitates for a second,
spying on them around a display of chips. Suspicious.
AT THE COUNTER:
She strides up as the guy pays for the gas and a couple
bottles of water.
Didn't you hear me banging in
(startled; puzzled smile)
You think it's funny? Me locked in?
Locked in where?
You're telling me you didn't just
hear me banging on the door?
I don't know what you're-
(cuts him off)
Forget it. Let's just get on the
He gathers up the bottled water, heads toward the door. The
clerk calls to him:
Remember, highway's your best bet-
Don't worry about it man, I got it
She frowns, following him to the exit.
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18 CONTINUED: 18
Are we lost or something?
No, I've made this drive a million
He holds the door for her, then follows her outside.
19 EXT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - CONTINUOUS 19
As they exit and start toward the car she offers him a
twenty. He looks at the money, as if he's never seen U.S.
What's that for?
My half of the gas.
What do you mean? Isn't that how
ride-sharing works? -- We split
I don't take money from friends.
Since when are they friends?
They separate, walking around to their respective sides of
the car. She tries the passenger door handle, only to find
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19 CONTINUED: 19
She rolls her eyes, waits for him to open it from the inside.
20 OMITTED 20
21 INT. OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 21
She stares out at the road ahead, lulled by the sound of the
windshield wipers sweeping snowflakes from side to side.
A nondescript exit comes up fast for a side road. Which
wouldn't be cause for alarm or even interest except-
He suddenly turns the wheel sharply, taking the exit.
22 EXT. OLDSMOBILE - THAT MOMENT 22
The car veers off the interstate onto a much smaller two-lane
road marked with a simple sign, paint-on-wood, faded to
illegibility: Scenic Route 606.
The tires crunch across an old chain which had once prevented
access to the road but is now half-buried in the snow.
Attached to it is a diamond-shaped warning sign of a more
modern vintage reading: Rough Road.
23 INT. OLDSMOBILE - THAT MOMENT 23
She falls against him, bracing herself against the dash.
What the hell are you doing!?
No way! Get back on the highway.
Relax, I checked it out on the map.
It looks interesting.
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23 CONTINUED: 23
I mean it, get back on the highway
right now! This is not going to
He looks a little pissed she's questioning his judgment.
Will you chill. It's a shortcut.
We'll be back on the highway before
you know it.
Hard to argue with a shortcut...
Nonetheless, she glances back with a look of trepidation OUT
THE BACK WINDOW at the highway receding into the distance.
24 EXT. SCENIC ROUTE 606 - NIGHT 24
The Oldsmobile cruises by, the only car on the two-lane
As it leaves FRAME camera PANS to the dead grass on the
roadside where it finds a sad little SHRINE half-buried in
the snow: two homemade crosses, candle stumps, a rotting
stuffed bear, deflated Mylar balloons.
Scrawled on the crosses are:
25 INT. OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 25
She watches him suspiciously out of the corner of her eye.
His face is eerie in the green light of the dashboard.
He scans the radio dial for something other than static.
Not many radio stations out here.
We're in a valley. FM radio waves
travel in a straight line. They
can't penetrate big obstacles like
hills. Try AM.
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25 CONTINUED: 25
Where were you when I was flunking
He switches over to AM. Finds a low-wattage mountain station
broadcasting Bobby Helms' 1957 "Jingle Bell Rock."
Then he drives in silence. Still stewing over her most
So... Does your family do the whole
traditional Christmas thing?
No, my grandparents are Dutch, so I
was raised on salted licorice and
How's that different from the
regular Santa Claus?
Instead of the North Pole, he lives
in Spain. And instead of elves he's
got an enforcer named Black Pete.
Basically he's like your Santa,
What's your Christmas like?
My folks split my freshman year, so
I spend the holidays racing between
them. Two trees... two turkey
dinners...two sets of presents to
return for store credit. So
normally I can deal, but this year
mom decided to rent a condo at the
beach. Which is like, what? Two
I don't know. The beach can be sort
of nice in the winter. Romantic.
She gazes out the window at night overtaking the landscape.
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25 CONTINUED: (2) 25
So were you a Rehobeth beach family
or Stone Harbor?
We always went to Rehobeth. Year in
and year out... Jesus, I've never
been more bored in my life. I was
always so jealous of my friends who
spent summers at the Jersey shore.
She turns from the window to look at him, scowling.
Stone Harbor is the Jersey shore.
Hm? Oh, yeah, I know. What I meant
You aren't from Delaware, are you?
Well, see, it's kind of complicated-
Who are you?!
I'm exactly who I said I was, am,
What the hell's going on here?
Nothing's going on-
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?
Look, just calm down. I can explain-
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25 CONTINUED: (3) 25
HEADLIGHTS suddenly appear up ahead, blindingly bright.
What the hell?
She turns to look ahead, momentarily forgetting their fight
as the oncoming headlights cross the median into their lane.
You think he doesn't see us?
How can he not?
26 EXT. ROUTE 606 - THAT MOMENT 26
From a high angle overlooking the road we watch the two cars
racing toward one another, headed on a collision course.
27 INT. OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 27
For the time being their fight has taken a back seat to the
oncoming car playing chicken with them.
Pull over and let this asshole by.
Over where? There's no shoulder.
He's right. On the passenger side the road abuts a steep
wooded hillside. Opposite that it drops off into a ravine.
They are both too distracted by the ONCOMING HEADLIGHTS to
notice the Christmas SONG that's just come on the RADIO:
Brenda Lee's 1958 hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."
Rockin' around, the Christmas tree,
at the Christ-mas par-ty hop...
28 EXT. ROUTE 606 - THAT MOMENT 28
The distance between the SPEEDING CARS is closing rapidly.
29 INT. OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 29
The kids faces go white in the glare of the oncoming lights.
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29 CONTINUED: 29
Mistletoe hung where you can see,
Ev'ry couple tries to STOP. Rockin'
around, the Christmas tree, have a
happy hol-i-day... Later we'll have
some pumpkin pie, and do some car-
30 EXT. ROUTE 606 - THAT MOMENT 30
The OTHER CAR continues barrelling toward the OLDSMOBILE.
The game of chicken fast approaching the point of no return.
You will get a sen-ti-men-tal fee-
ling when you hear... Voices
singing "Let's be jolly, DECK the
halls with boughs of holly"...
31 INT. OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 31
Relief turns to dread as they realize the other car isn't
He's not stopping!
He jerks the wheel hard, sending the Oldsmobile fishtailing
out of control.
The OTHER CAR skids over a small bridge and drops out of
They spin out in the opposite direction. Skid off the road
and SLAM into a snowbank with a bone-shuddering CRASH.
Rockin' around, the Christmas tree,
Have a happy hol-i-day. Everyone's
dancing mer-ri-ly in the New. Old.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
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32 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 32
The Oldsmobile has ended up on the opposite roadside facing
the wrong way, its driver's side jammed into a snowbank.
Snow boils in its headlights.
33 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 33
The interior is dark.
The girl has been thrown under the dash. It's hard to tell
in this light whether she's still breathing.
Finally she stirs, disoriented.
She climbs back into her seat, piecing together where she is.
It takes her a beat to remember him. She looks over slowly.
He's not moving, though thanks to his seatbelt he's still
upright behind the wheel. His head rests limply against the
driver's window, which now looks out on nothing but snowbank.
A link of blood trickles down the glass.
She's not taking any chances. Without a sound she slips into
her shoes, coat. Gropes for her cellphone among the detritus
at her feet.
Suddenly he stirs, groaning.
The seconds ticking by on the DASHBOARD CLOCK.
When he doesn't wake, she resumes fumbling for her cell.
Finds it. Then eases open the creaky passenger door.
And launches herself into the frigid night.
34 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 34
She hurries down the road away from the car. Breath clouding
in the frigid air. Punches in numbers on her cell phone.
INSERT CELLPHONE SCREEN --
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34 CONTINUED: 34
No SIGNAL BARS.
She's starting to freak now. She hits the REDIAL button.
... please... please... please...
Suddenly, from behind --
What are you doing?
She screams, spins around.
He's standing right behind her, his face in silhouette.
C-Calling 9-1-1. Or trying to.
(shakes head `no')
Can't... I can't get a signal here.
He receives this news with a strange calm.
What about yours?
I don't have a cell.
How can you not have a cell?
How're you doing? You all right?
I... yeah, I'm okay. Nothing
broken... What about you?
I don't know. Think I hit my head.
He puts his hand to the left side of his skull and pushes on
it. Like someone testing a melon for ripeness.
Come to think of it, his speech is a little wooden.
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34 CONTINUED: (2) 34
She watches as he turns and takes a few aimless steps away.
What happened to the, uh, the guy?
Asshole who ran us off the road.
She's completely forgotten all about the other vehicle until
now. She turns to look, puzzled.
There's no sign of the other vehicle anywhere. They're alone.
I don't know. I guess maybe he
decided just to hit and run.
So where are his tire tracks?
She looks, sees an unbroken expanse of fresh white snow.
In case you haven't noticed, it's
coming down pretty hard.
Yeah, but you can still see our
The mystery of the missing tracks seems to have penetrated
his post-accident fog, bringing him back into sharper focus.
She watches as he walks out in front of the Olds' headlights
to the middle of the road, where the other vehicles track's
What the hell?!
He walks back to the Olds and opens the passenger door (the
only access into or out of the stranded car, thanks to the
snowbank). He begins searching the glove compartment for a
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34 CONTINUED: (3) 34
ANGLE ON HER
Deliberating whether to seize this moment of distraction to
make a break for it.
She looks back down the long dark road.
Looks back at him bent over rummaging in the Oldsmobile.
Curiosity getting the better of her, she walks out to the
middle of the road to have a look for herself.
Just an expanse of fresh powder and a few of his footprints.
This doesn't make any sense...
At that moment he emerges from the car with a flashlight. He
spokes it, sweeps the strong beam over their surroundings.
The left side of the road falls off into a darkness so deep
even the flashlight's beam can't penetrate it. A precipice.
He cups his hand and calls out at the top of his lungs.
She jumps at the sound of his voice, her nerves frazzled.
ANYBODY OUT THERE!? ANYONE?! HEY!
His voice is swallowed by the dark. After the echoes subside
the only sound in the hush is the SIZZLE of falling snow and
a weird otherworldly HUM.
He snaps off his flashlight, thrusts it into his coat pocket.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 29.
34 CONTINUED: (4) 34
I guess we see how bad we're stuck.
They trudge back to the car, boots crunching in the snow.
You steer, I'll push.
He holds the passenger door for her while she scrambles in,
scooting over into the driver's seat. He leaves the door
open so they can communicate.
He walks back to the rear of the stranded Oldsmobile.
He's pulling on gloves when something half-buried in the snow
nearby catches his eye. He takes out the flashlight, shines
it at the roadside.
Little wooden crosses.
Just two this time. Another sad shrine, to a different set
of anonymous victims of Route 606.
Their proximity to the stranded Olds obviously unsettles him.
He bends with a little wince and braces his shoulder against
the rear bumper.
The tail lights come on as she turns the ignition. He hears
her crank the starter motor.
Cranking... cranking... cranking...
Finally turning over.
She slips the Oldsmobile in gear, and he starts pushing.
The rear tires spin, throwing slush; but car won't budge.
Give it more gas!
She floors it; the tires SCREAMING.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 30.
34 CONTINUED: (5) 34
He puts everything he's got into pushing, but it's no use.
Suddenly his face contorts in pain and he clutches his side.
He drops out of view, disappearing in a cloud of red exhaust.
A beat later he pulls himself up, pounds on the trunk.
The tires stop spinning.
35 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 35
She's sitting in the driver's seat of the idling car when she
hears the crunch-crunch-crunch of his approaching footsteps.
In that moment she makes a decision.
Scrambles across the front seat, pulls the door shut hard.
36 INT./EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - THAT MOMENT 36
He arrives at the passenger side door handle just as the
power locks all go THUNK.
He's locked out.
Hey, open up.
He tugs at the handle a few times. Knocks on the window.
You wanna pop the locks?
When there's no response from her he puts his lips to the
half-inch gap at the top of the stuck window.
You gonna unlock the door or what?
She sees him cup his hands and peering in through the window.
She keeps her eyes down, focuses on her shaking fingers as
they frantically dial her cellphone.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 31.
36 CONTINUED: 36
Hey, c'mon, it's freezing out here!
Better get used to it, asshole.
He rattles the door handle, starting to get panicked now.
What the hell is wrong with you?
What did I do?
But she's in full-blown paranoid mode now, near hysterics.
You drove us here, that's what you
did!! What the hell did you think
you were doing!?
I thought I was driving you home.
You're not driving me home because
one, you don't live near my home
and two, this piece of shit isn't
driving anywhere. Now what are we
doing here? Why did you get off the
I told you, this is a shortcut.
Anyway, you were the one who said
she was so bored on the highway.
This used to be called `Scenic 606'
because there's an amazing view of
One, you've never been anywhere
near here before so don't pretend
you knew it's a shortcut, and two,
there's an amazing view of shit
BECAUSE IT'S PITCH BLACK OUT!
He stands there as she freaks out.
Let me get this straight. You think
I intentionally arranged for us get
stranded out here?! It was an
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 32.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
accident! You saw the other car.
You think he was in on it, too?
Maybe! Maybe he's like your Black
Pete or something! Why the hell did
you tell me that story anyway?
Anyway, I've got news for you... I
got through to a friend's voicemail
while you were supposedly
unconscious. I'm sure she's called
the cops by now.
Would you listen to yourself? What
kind of psycho do you think I am?
He straightens, exasperated, puts a hand to his injured head.
She looks at him standing there, hugging himself against the
sub-zero cold, his teeth chattering. He doesn't look like an
She doesn't know what to do. There's a long beat. Finally,
he throws up his hands in disgust, decides to go to Plan B.
I'm gonna walk back to the gas
station for help. You've got the
heater and the radio, so you should
be all right here. Though I really
think you should consider coming
I bet you do.
Fine. Whatever. If you feel a draft
and you want to patch this...
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 33.
36 CONTINUED: (3) 36
Sticking his fingertips through the half-inch gap at the top
of the stuck passenger side window.
... I keep duct tape in the back.
I bet you do.
He looks in at her one last time, exits.
She listens to the crunch of his footsteps until she can't
hear them anymore.
Suddenly there's a loud BANG against the passenger side
window. She jumps.
BUT IT'S MY CAR!!
He goes crazy on the stranded Olds: punching the roof,
jerking the door handle, kicking the door, screaming at her
the whole time.
She cowers inside, scared to death.
Finally he gives up, and with a final BANG to the roof,
He turns and heads back down the road.
We watch through the rear window as he trudges robotically
away, his boots crunch-crunch-crunching in the snow.
He stops. Leans his weight against a tree. Looks back at
Whatever it is he's doing, he's clearly not walking to the
He straightens, and continues on until he's out of sight.
37 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 37
The stranded Oldsmobile sits on the roadside, engine running,
hood and windshield covered in white. The interior lights
are on, giving it an enchanted look, like a cottage in a
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 34.
38 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 38
She's in the back seat ransacking his suitcase and other
possessions, looking for the duct tape. Despite the heater
it's cold enough in the car (thanks to the gap in the window)
to see her breath.
A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT plays on the car's radio.
... The National Weather Service
has issued a Winter Storm Warning
for the entire Eastern Seaboard...
Boxer shorts. Socks. Box of condoms. A copy of the Tibetan
Book of the Dead. A cheap Radio Shack TELEPHONE wrapped in
its cord. A CROW BAR, which she tosses up to the front seat.
RADIO PSA (cont'd)
... Carbon County residents can
expect snow accumulations of four
to six inches...
Suddenly we see -
A BLUR OF MOVEMENT outside the car's foggy REAR WINDOW...
But she's too busy searching through the junk in the back
seat to notice.
Finally she finds what she's looking for: silver DUCT TAPE.
Also a PAIR OF SCISSORS.
She holds the scissors like a dagger, clearly thinking they
could come in useful if she needs to defend herself.
She climbs up front, rips off a three-foot length of tape.
Again, in the b.g. -
MORE MOVEMENT outside the car...
But she's too busy sealing the passenger's side window
against the frigid draft to notice that someone's outside.
RADIO PSA (cont'd)
... State and local officials are
urging residents to remain indoors,
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 35.
38 CONTINUED: 38
RADIO PSA (cont'd)
as wind chills plunge to fifteen
She glimpses MOVEMENT outside the passenger window.
She gasps, ducking out of sight below the car's dashboard.
She doesn't move, listening, her eyes bright with fear.
After a long beat she risks a peek over the steering wheel.
The windshield is fogged, so she wipes a peephole in the
condensate. It's too dark to see much beyond the car's hood.
She reaches shaking fingers toward the steering column.
Flicks on the headlights.
A STRANGER is walking away down the middle of the dark road.
She screams, reaches instinctively to check the power locks.
The stranger, a black man dressed in a dirty suit, walks with
hunched shoulders. Snow swirling around him in the darkness.
Who the hell takes a stroll in the middle of a snowstorm?
Over her initial shock now, she reaches for the door handle.
39 EXT. ROUTE 606 - ROADSIDE - NIGHT 39
She gets out of the car, clutching the SCISSORS in both hands
like a dagger. She stands behind the protection of the open
car door and calls out to the stranger moving down the middle
of the snowy road a dozen yards ahead.
There's a weird HUMMING noise in the air she can't place.
No reaction from the stranger.
Hello? Do you live around here?
Again, nothing. Maybe he's deaf?
She moves out from behind the safety of the car door and
starts after the stranger, keeping her distance as she calls:
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 36.
39 CONTINUED: 39
We had an accident. My friend went
for help. He'll be back any second.
The stranger's dapper suit is more than dishevelled. It's
soaking wet, caked in motor oil or some other dark slime.
Kinda crappy night for a walk,
don't you think?
And there's something definitely "off about his shuffling.
It's like he's crippled, or injured. In fact he seems to be
CRYING. (Or is it moaning?)
But the stranger just keeps shuffling toward the shoulder of
the road, headed in the direction of the DARK STAND OF TREES
beyond. Soon he moves beyond the reach of the headlights and
disappears into the gloom.
What the hell - !?
Spooked, she begins to back toward the stranded Oldsmobile.
Backs into -
Jesus! Calm down. It's just me.
Stay away from me!
She brandishes the SCISSORS. He puts up two hands
Whoa! Take it easy. What's wrong?
You! Everything! The guy-
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 37.
39 CONTINUED: (2) 39
I don't know, it was weird. I saw
some guy walking down the road.
Where did he go?
I don't know. Into the woods.
Her eyes keep cutting back and forth between him and the
woods where the stranger disappeared, as if not sure which is
the greater threat.
Look. It's freezing out here. Let's
just get in the car and you can
tell me what happened...
What are you doing back so soon?
What about hiking to the gas
It was closed. I was going to leave
a note, but I didn't... You know.
Have anything to write with.
She clutches the scissors tighter, not believing a word.
But those places are supposed to
stay open 24/7! Why wasn't it open?
How the hell should I know?!
Independent operator. Look, can we
continue this conversation in the
car, `cause I'm freezing my balls
off standing out here.
I'm not getting into the car with
you, you psycho!!!
He closes his eyes and shakes his head, beyond frustrated.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 38.
39 CONTINUED: (3) 39
Fine. Whatever. I'm getting in.
You're welcome to join me.
He turns and trudges back to the Oldsmobile, climbs in, and
pulls the door shut after him. Leaving her there in the
snowy road, clutching the scissors, her teeth chattering.
She stands there, shivering, looking very small and alone.
HOLD on her as she weighs her options: stay out here and
freeze. Or risk seeking shelter with a stalker.
Not much of a choice.
40 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - MOMENTS LATER 40
He looks over as the door wrenches open and she climbs in.
She pulls the door shut behind her, then huddles against it.
Eyeing him warily.
He starts to reach toward her and she brandishes the scissors-
- and switches off the overhead interior lights, explaining:
We need to conserve the battery.
With the interior light off the car fills with an otherwordly
blue glow reflected off the snow. She pulls her knees up as
if trying to make herself as small as she can, to position
herself as far away from him as is humanly possible on a
Her eyes cut to the DASHBOARD CLOCK. She frowns.
That's not right. The clock...
Huh? No, it's not. It should
He frowns, looking down at his watch. He holds it to his
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 39.
40 CONTINUED: 40
My watch stopped. Oh well... Guess
we'll just have to rely on my
precisely calibrated body clock.
He tosses his useless watch over his shoulder into the back
Suddenly she notices a trickle of blood coming from his head.
He touches two fingers to the left side of his head. They
come away bloody. As he lifts his watch cap we see the left
side of his head is matted with frozen blood, now beginning
to melt. The collar of his coat is soaked with it.
It doesn't look like nothing.
Scalp wounds bleed a lot. Head
wounds in general. That's why, if
you're ever in a bar fight, the
thing to do is pick up a bottle and
smash the other guy across the
bridge of his nose. It'll make his
eyes fill with blood and snot, and
buy you enough time to run away.
That's really useful, thanks.
A tense silence fills the car. He closes his eyes and leans
his head back, as if trying to catch a few Z's.
So where are you from, really?
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 40.
40 CONTINUED: (2) 40
Place called Glens Falls...
That's not in Delaware.
That's, like, in the complete
That's like twenty minutes from
All right, all right, so I lied...
Eyes still closed, he answers in a flat uninflected voice.
I just thought you seemed cool. I
don't have a line or a `game' or
whatever the hell it's called. So
when I saw a chance to get you
alone for six uninterrupted hours,
I took it.
She ponders this for a beat, one piece still not clicking.
But how did you know where I lived?
Which explains how you found out I
was from Delaware... But not how
you knew I needed a ride home. I
mean, I always fly. How could you
possibly know that for, like the
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 40A.
40 CONTINUED: (3) 40
first time in my college career, I
was planning on going Greyhound-
Just then her eyes go wide, as it suddenly dawns on her.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 41.
41 FLASHBACK: 41
A SERIES OF QUICK CUTS revisits events from earlier that day.
- The text message, "y don't u check the ride board?"
- Her looking up, smiling.
- Sitting behind her, reading the message: OUR GUY.
- Who bolts from his seat the instant class is dismissed.
- Who turns out to be the one who jostled her on his way out.
- He races across the empty quad, scribbling on the run.
- Tears the improvised notice out of his spiral notebook.
- Slaps it up on the RIDE BOARD just in the nick of time.
- As she enters and sees: "NE1 Need a ride 2 Delaware 12/23?"
42 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 42
She looks at him, the pieces all finally falling into place.
He makes no effort to explain. Doesn't even open his eyes.
Forgive me for attempting a
Romantic? Try stalkerish.
Not if things worked out between
us...I would've told you everything
eventually, and then it wouldn't be
stalkerish. It would just be this
sweet funny story we'd have.
He sits up sharply, temper boiling over, glaring at her.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 42.
42 CONTINUED: 42
Okay, you've made your point! I'm a
creep who gets off on chauffeuring
women under false pretenses. Can we
drop this already?
Christ. I'm starving. You hungry?
He leans over the seatback, begins rummaging in the back.
Did you see a bag of groceries in
At mention of groceries she temporarily drops the topic of
the gas station. Remembers:
No. Oh, shit. I think I might've
left it in the parking lot.
I'm sorry. It was an accident-
Shit! I spent sixty bucks on this
gourmet crap you like! Saint
Andre's cheese and Carr's crackers
and those stupid little French
pickles, I forget what they're
Cornichons... I love cornichons.
He sighs, slumps back behind the steering wheel, defeated.
43 EXT. ROUTE 606 - ROADSIDE - NIGHT 43
The wind blows. In between gusts it's quiet, except for the
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 43.
44 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 44
She's still huddled up front, still holding her scissors.
He's in the back seat, scouring the car for anything edible,
scrounging Tic Tacs, stale pretzel nibs, a candy bar, etc.
I think I remember losing pack of
Big Red down the back seat cushions
He thrusts his hand between the seat cushions like a scuba
diver feeling for lobster under a coral reef.
DOWN THE BACK SEAT:
His hand fumbles in the dark space below the seat cushions,
among the seatbelts, lost nickels and dimes, lint.
BACK TO SCENE
Suddenly his eyes go wide as something lurking under the
seats seizes his hand and jerks him in hard.
His face contorts in agony.
Then changes to a smile, as he pulls his hand free, unhurt,
holding a stick of gum.
She looks at him in mute fury and disbelief. He shrugs,
unwraps a stick of Big Red and pops it into his mouth.
Suddenly his hand shoots out and seizes her wrist holding the
scissors. Her eyes go wide in terror and she starts to
resist, but his grip is too strong.
Let go, goddamnit...
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 44.
44 CONTINUED: 44
Give them to me!
With his free hand he reaches over and wrenches the scissors
away from her, his eyes flashing. She gives a little
terrified whimper as he pulls her close, brandishes the
I need these.
45 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - LATER 45
With the blade of the open scissors he divides a stale candy
bar, divvying it up.
He closes the scissors. Serves up the two halves of candy
bar on napkins with a side of stale pretzel nibs.
I still can't believe you left all
our food in a stupid parking lot.
Look, I'm sorry, okay? I'll write
you a check for sixty bucks if it
will make you get off my case. I
don't know what else I can say.
Let's just eat.
They eat in silence, each chewing the unappetizing "dinner."
Story of my life. Never fails...
You. Girls. Women. You seem cool at
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 45.
45 CONTINUED: 45
What the hell are you talking
You should all come with a warning,
like car mirrors: "Objects in belly
shirts are flakier than they
You want to talk about fake? How
about guys who pretend to be from
Delaware to meet girls?
How about we just stop talking
That's perfect. Because now that
I'm not some Nietzche-spouting
sexbot, suddenly I'm not worth
knowing. And who's fault is that?
He doesn't answer, only withdraws into himself, sulking.
All of a sudden the Oldsmobile gives a SHUDDER.
And then the engine DIES.
46 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 46
They leap out to investigate, dropping down on all fours to
shine the flashlight under the chassis.
Under the car. The beam illuminates a yellow crater of melted
snow beneath the car's undercarriage.
BACK TO SCENE
She reaches under to scoop up some of the yellow snow.
Retrieves it so she can hold it under her nose and sniff.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 46.
46 CONTINUED: 46
Fuel tank must've been ruptured in
Can you fix it?
Not unless you have a welding rig
in all that shit of yours. And even
if you did, it wouldn't matter.
We're out of gas.
But we still have the battery,
As long as we use it sparingly, it
should last the night. Question is,
What do you mean?
She gives him a sober look, as the storm rages around them.
No engine... no heat.
He looks at her, a look of grim determination on his face.
He marches to the car, pops the trunk.
Retrieves her suitcase.
47 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 47
He dumps her suitcase in front. She climbs in after it.
Slams the door.
He rolls into the back, fishes his suitcase out of the mess.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 47.
47 CONTINUED: 47
Only thing that's gonna get us to
sun-up. So put aside fashion sense
and start layering everything you
But I didn't bring anything.
He raises an eyebrow, leans over the front seat to unzip her
suitcase and see for himself.
Christmas gifts, skimpy tees, panties and bras, a bikini.
I'm sorry, but who could prepare
for something like this?! I've got
a complete winter wardrobe, it's
just in Delaware... And no, that
doesn't make me a flake!
He unzips his suitcase. Starts pulling out Ragg socks, long-
sleeve pullovers, etc.
He shoves a ball of clothes into her hands without a word.
48 OMITTED 48
49 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 49
The kids have retreated to the front- and back seats for
privacy while they change. Not an easy proposition in the
She strips down to bra and panties as demurely as possible.
Puts on his insulated underwear and the rest of their things.
He slips on his woefully inadequate shirts and pants. It's
obvious he gave the warmest stuff to her. Also that he took
the backseat because it's more cramped than the front.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 48.
49 CONTINUED: 49
Once they're finished dressing he reaches up, switches off
the interior light.
They lie in the blue darkness for a few moments of silence,
watching their breath plume in the cold air. [Note: from this
point on, their breath will always be visible in the car.]
He hears her sigh, restless.
What's the matter?
I'm freezing. I can't feel my toes.
Nothing much they can do about it. They fall silent again.
You know, there is a better way for
two people to conserve body heat-
But we see her smiling a little in the dark front seat.
They lie in silence for another beat as she tries every
position possible to get comfortable. Finally she sits up.
She starts to climb over into the cramped front seat,
intending to go outside. He winces when she puts a hand on
his chest to steady herself as she climbs over him.
Why didn't you go before, when we
Because it's freezing out. We're
talking about an arctic air mass
out of Canada.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 49.
49 CONTINUED: (2) 49
It's still freezing out-
Yeah, but now I've got to go.
Promise not to look.
She pops the door and exits.
50 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 50
She climbs out into the bitter cold, hunched against the
howling wind, and moves off as far as she dares from the car.
She fumbles with the buttons and zippers of her multiple
layers, turns her back to the car, squats to pee.
Her teeth chatter as she does her business, one wary eye
peeled to catch the guy peeking.
Suddenly, out of the gloom appears -
A DARK FIGURE, moving by very near her.
She GASPS. Tumbles back onto her ass. As she's struggling
to pull up her pants -
MORE DARK FIGURES appear, moving in the same direction.
As the figures enter the woods their leader turns so she
glimpses his face: elderly and unremarkable at first glance,
then for an instant CHANGING into a twisted ashen deathmask.
Her SCREAM brings our guy BOLTING out of the car.
What?! What happened?!
But it all happened so fast she doesn't believe her eyes.
She gestures at the procession of DARK FIGURES disappearing
(still in shock)
- Did you see? - They were right
Why didn't you stop them?! Maybe
they have a phone!
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 50.
50 CONTINUED: 50
Our guy ducks back into the car, retrieves a flashlight from
the glove compartment.
He eases the door shut, carefully so it doesn't latch and
accidentally lock them out.
The he starts off running after the figures. Scared as she
is, she decides to follow rather than remain at the car by
51 EXT. ROUTE 606 - FURTHER DOWN ROAD / TOP OF A RAVINE - NIGHT 51
The two kids arrive at the place on the road -- top of a
ravine disappearing thirty feet below -- where the dark
figures seemed to be headed.
Only to find NO ONE THERE.
Where'd they go?!
She looks where he's pointing with the flashlight-
On the wooded slope on the opposite slope of the ravine are
SEVERAL TALL OLD MEN IN DARK COATS, dispersing through the
woods. As if whatever somber occasion that brought them to
the ravine has ended.
Hey! Wait! We need help here!
Climbing down into the ravine seems too treacherous, so the
kids are forced to backtrack to a place several yards away
where they can follow the DARK FIGURES into the:
52 EXT. WOODS - NIGHT 52
They follow the bobbing beam of the flashlight through the
trees, in pursuit of the OLD MAN in black coat and fedora.
Our guy falls behind, winded.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 51.
52 CONTINUED: 52
Gotta - just a sec - catch my -
Maybe we should go back to the car.
No! There must be a house or
something. Keep going. I'll catch
She trudges on ahead, her footsteps growing FAINTER, finally
He's alone now.
He leans against a tree to catch his breath, wincing in pain.
For an instant it seems like he's going to be sick. But then
he just hocks up phlegm and spits into the pure white snow.
Though still winded, he pushes on.
53 EXT. HILLTOP - NIGHT 53
A few minutes later he trudges into view. Looks around. No
sign of our girl.
He arrives at the top of the hill. Silhouetted against the
night sky. Treeless.
His flashlight finds the few vertical objects still standing.
A RUINED BUILDING
Windowless and long-abandoned, its ceiling and walls caved in
around a large stone chimney.
He crunches inside and examines the black maw of the large
stone fireplace, now stuffed with trash and dead leaves. His
flashlight beam finds a SMALL IRON DOOR built into the side
of the chimney.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 52.
53 CONTINUED: 53
He kneels in the snow and tugs the little iron door open.
Gingerly slips his arm inside the firebox.
Retrieves a bunch of OLD NEWSPAPERS. He stuffs them inside
the front of his jacket. Continues rummaging around in the
As he rises he winces in pain, one hand going to his side.
He takes slow breaths until the pain subsides.
He turns in a slow circle. His flashlight sweeps over the
interior of the abandoned ruins, the beam picking out what
look like branches -
frozen into claws, reaching from...
A FROZEN BODY.
It's lying on the bare springs of a metal bedframe: teeth
clenched in a terrible rictus, icicles dripping from nose,
clawlike fingers, eyes.
He's so startled he nearly drops the flashlight.
The wayward light finding ANOTHER FROZEN CORPSE in a nearby
bed mere feet away: another rictus grimace, clawlike fingers
seeming to reach for him. And then another. And another...
All OLD MEN.
Frozen in their death throes, like the bodies from Pompeii.
ONE OF THE BEDS is EMPTY.
Our guy sweeps the flashlight beam to the side and finds the
bed's occupant: frozen sitting upright in an old wooden
Eye to eye with him.
He reels in horror, trips, LOSES THE FLASHLIGHT as he goes
sprawling. Then recovers, snatching the flashlight up again
and sweeping it back in the direction of the frozen bodies -
And sees NOTHING: No beds. No old men...
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 52A.
53 CONTINUED: (2) 53
Just his footprints in the snow.
54 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - THAT MOMENT 54
Our girl emerges from the trees, having decided to give up
the chase and return to the safety of the car.
Just as she's reaching for the door handle she GASPS -
As a FIGURE suddenly appears out of the darkness.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 53.
54 CONTINUED: 54
It's the black STRANGER from earlier, shuffling and mumbling.
This time he's close enough for her to make out some of the
words he's muttering:
...please, officer, please don't...
Determined not to let him vanish again, she takes off in
pursuit, coming alongside him and keeping pace as he shuffles
down the middle of the road.
...don't put me in the river...
Suddenly she glances down, sees why he's shuffling so oddly.
His ankles above his sodden dress shoes are bound with BALING
WIRE, as are his wrists.
Oh my god! Who did this to you?!
...please, officer, just take the
booze and let me go...
She reaches toward him.
The instant her hand nears him the wind HOWLS DEAFENINGLY.
She experiences a sudden powerful JOLT, almost as if she's
grabbed a live wire... only instead of electric heat she
feels a terrible otherwordly cold...
The jolt stuns the stranger out of his daze, and for the
first time he becomes aware of her. He raises his frightened
eyes to her slowly, and in doing so reveals his face.
A scream builds in her throat at sight of him.
The stranger's face is bloodless, bloated, swollen with rot.
A sludgy gargling noise comes from his throat and his mouth
moves, as if he's trying to speak.
But instead of words emerging, his throat suddenly bulges.
Something's in there, fighting its way up his esophagus.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 54.
54 CONTINUED: (2) 54
She watches in horror as it emerges, blind and wriggling like
a blood-fattened leech. Forcing its way out through his lips
to land at his feet with a wet PLOP.
It lies there writhing in the fresh snow.
A river eel.
55 EXT. WOODS - THAT MOMENT 55
POV of our guy running blindly through the woods, FLASHLIGHT
BEAM throwing weird bouncing shadows across the trees, boots
CRUNCHING in the snow, sound of his GASPING BREATHS...
He stops, wracked with pain, and doubles over with hands on
knees to catch his breath.
In the silence he hears her SCREAM coming from ahead.
He stands, and though still winded, starts running again.
56 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 56
Our guy emerges from the woods still carrying the newspapers
he found in time to find our girl white with shock and
SCREAMING. He grabs her by the shoulders, shakes her.
It's okay! You're okay! It's okay!
Her screams give way to hyperventilating sobs.
Where were you?
I was looking for those guys. I
didn't see anyone--
(hesitating at the memory)
--there's nobody up there. What's
wrong, what's wrong? Did you see
I...there was another guy...
She starts to tell him, then stops, not sure if she believes
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 55.
56 CONTINUED: 56
Suddenly he looks down, notices her blackened mitten on her
right hand. The palm is blistered and raw. He takes her
hand gingerly, examines it. She winces in pain.
What happened to you!? This looks
like... oh jesus... like frostbite!
I tried to... touch him...it burns.
He raises his eyes from her frostbite, looks at the dark
silent stand of dense woods surrounding them. They exchange
a look of knowing concern.
Let's get back in the car...
They start back in the direction of the stranded Oldsmobile.
Pan down to the road, where something moves weakly under the
fresh powdering of snow.
The RIVER EEL, in its death throes.
57 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - LATER 57
They climb back inside. He pulls the old newspapers out from
inside his jacket, tosses them on the dashboard. She pulls
the passenger door shut.
The duct tape has come loose, allowing a cold draft in
through the cracked window.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 56.
57 CONTINUED: 57
She notices the NEWSPAPERS on the dash, grabs them.
Where'd these come from?
There's the ruins of an old house
or something back in the woods.
Oh... Give me the duct tape...
He hands it to her, and she starts using the tape and old
newspapers to seal out the draft.
When she's finished, he starts to climb over into the back.
She looks at him, too embarrassed to ask him to hold her. It
takes him a beat to understand. Then he crawls over to her,
and they spoon together in the front seat, finding their best
Any awkwardness quickly passes.
They lie there, too frightened to sleep.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
58 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 58
Our kids lie awake, him spooning her, listening to the RADIO
quietly playing Christmas music: (segué into Brenda Lee's
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.")
Are you awake?
Uh-huh. D-Don't want to sleep.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 56A.
58 CONTINUED: 58
Because I'm afraid I won't wake up.
That's what they say happens. When
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 57.
58 CONTINUED: (2) 58
you freeze to death. It's like
going to sleep...
There are worse ways to go.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK --
Someone is outside, knocking on the Oldsmobile's window.
They both jump, startled. He glances up into the rearview
mirror, sees HEADLIGHTS behind them and a RED FLASHING LIGHT.
She cranks down the icy passenger side window, revealing the
silhouette of a HIGHWAY PATROLMAN standing just outside: 40s,
wearing a trim-fitting uniform and a stiff-brimmed trooper's
Everything all right in there?
The kids speak over one another in their relief to see him.
Thank God! You don't know how glad
we are to see you...
...you won't believe what's been
The cop listens without comment, shining his flashlight over
the car's interior.
Having car trouble, huh?
Someone ran us off the road.
He shines the flashlight directly in our girl's eyes.
There's no parking here.
What are you talking about? We're
not parking here. Didn't you hear
what she said? Someone ran us off-
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 58.
58 CONTINUED: (3) 58
...Of course I might be willing to
let you off with a warning this
time... if we can come to some sort
What are you talking ab-
The girl, quicker to catch on than the guy, puts a hand on
It's a shake-down. He's probably
partners with the guy who ran us
off the road. Wouldn't be surprised
if he has a deal with the tow guy,
He turns to her, says in an angry whisper -
You think this whole thing was a
scam? Jesus, he could've killed us!
But she's already digging cash out of her purse.
How much cash do you have on you?
He looks at her in disbelief. Sees that she's serious. He
digs out his wallet, starts to climb over her to exit. She
How many speeding tickets have you
sweet-talked your way out of?
He concedes her point silently. She plucks the money from his
hand. Opens the door.
59 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 59
She exits the stranded car into the frigid cold.
The cop waits, facing away, in the spotlight-like glare of
his IDLING PATROL CAR's headlights.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 59.
59 CONTINUED: 59
She walks back toward him, finds him mopping the back of his
neck with a handkerchief.
This is all we have.
Some weather we're having...
Yeah, it's really coming down.
(indicating the money)
So what do you say? How `bout a
little Christmas spirit here?
(still facing away)
You know, this is one bad stretch
of road. All kinds of trouble going
on up here: Kids drag racing.
Niggers hauling booze across the
state lines. Lady drivers breaking
down, no-one ever hears from them
Her bravado begins to flag. This isn't the kind of police
officer she's used to dealing with. She glances worriedly
back in the direction of the Olds.
We just want to get out of here, so
if you could just-
She holds out the money, but he ignores it.
Let me tell you, I've seen a lot of
fatalities on this road...
He takes off his hat so he can mop his brow. As he turns,
she gets a first good look at his face: handsome but hard,
with cruel snake charmer's eyes looking back at her...
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (cont'd)
You're lucky I came along when I
did. So why don't we get in my
She's scared now.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 60.
59 CONTINUED: (2) 59
She looks past him to where the HIGHWAY PATROL car sits
idling in a red plume of exhaust fumes.
I think maybe I just want to go
YOU'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!
She startles as if slapped, too horrified to parse his
She continues backing away until she's backed up against the
trunk of the Olds.
The cop is advancing toward her when suddenly he catches
sight of something high on the hillside behind her that makes
She glances over her shoulder to see what he's looking at:
A LIGHT on the hilltop, where the burned-out ruins stand.
And weirder still, there's a FIGURE in silhouette standing
The cop darkens, enraged by this unwanted audience. His face
contorts, fury building in him until he trembles with it. He
rests his hand on the butt of his service revolver, says to
her in a low urgent voice:
Get in the damn patrol car...
She starts walking toward the parked patrol car ahead of him.
The highway patrolman's boots CRUNCHING behind her.
The patrol car's HEADLIGHTS are blinding. She moves towards
them, squinting, as if moving down a tunnel of light.
(terrified; beginning to
Please... just let us go...
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 61.
59 CONTINUED: (3) 59
Hurry up...we've got an audience...
But we didn't do anything! Please!
We won't tell anybody if you let us-
Get away from her you bastard!
Suddenly the guy appears brandishing a CROWBAR.
He swings it in a lethal arc toward the patrolman's head.
The cop's head crumples inward. The cop's expression of FURY
suddenly STUTTERS, like film slipping in the projector -
As two worlds that should never intersect, do, violently -
For an instant, the cop's face appears...charred. Like a
human face projected onto a scorched and melting balloon.
The image flickers -
And on an ear-splitting HOWL we -
SMASH CUT TO:
60 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 60
Suddenly, jarringly, the kids are seated BACK INSIDE THE CAR.
As if someone hit RESET.
What just... out there...?
I don't know.
But it did happen, right? Or not...
Our guy winces in pain. TILT DOWN to reveal:
Frostbitten, still clutching the crowbar. She tries to take
it out of his bloody, blackened hands and he GASPS in agony.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 62.
60 CONTINUED: 60
Oh Jesus. OK. Hold on.
She pours water from a plastic bottle over his palms to try
and break the seal between the fused skin and metal.
OK, hold on, this is going to hurt.
She fights her own gag reflex as she pulls the crowbar free.
It comes away with several long black strips of dead skin
still attached. His palms are bloody pulps.
He fights to hold himself together as she ministers to him.
The pain is so bad it brings tears to his eyes. His teeth
chatter; he's teetering on the edge of shock.
Frostbite, second and third-degree.
How do you know? You take a first
aid course or something?
Ski camp, seventh grade...
(off his look)
Don't make fun. What else do you
have going on when you're thirteen?
She stretches herself out alongside him in the back seat.
Tugs up her layers of sweaters to expose her stomach.
I'm kinda not in the mood anymore.
We have to rewarm your hands. You
have ice crystals in your blood. If
we don't get circulation restored
you could lose your fingers.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 63.
60 CONTINUED: (2) 60
She takes his frostbitten hands and gingerly as possible
presses them against the warm skin of her belly, rewarming
They lie there in silence for a beat, faces inches apart.
What just happened to us out there?
What do you mean? You were there.
I know, but who was he? Where'd he
go? It's like one minute there's a,
a gun to my head and the next all
the lights go out and he's gone,
like a, like a-
Her eyes cut to his, afraid, resistent to the very idea.
Yes. And the old guys we chased-
What then? How do you explain-
I don't know! This is crazy! I
can't be having this conversation.
You're having it.
I don't want to!
You think I do?! Jesus. I'm just as
freaked by what's happening as you.
But we have to deal with it, `cause
like it or not, it is happening...
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 64.
60 CONTINUED: (3) 60
Then how do we make it stop?
I don't know. They don't cover this
in Philosophy 101.
(casting for ideas)
What about that book, in the back?
Something Book of the Dead.
Tibetan. It's not a How-to manual.
It's an 8th century Buddhist guide
on death and dying.
God. Why is this happening to us?
He doesn't have an answer. They fall silent for a beat.
(hands on her belly)
I can feel your stomach rumbling.
I know. God, I'd give anything for
some of those Carr's crackers right
Trying to take their minds off the grim situation.
So what else was in the grocery bag
Um, let's see. Duck liver paté with
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 65.
60 CONTINUED: (4) 60
Some olives, the normal kind and
also some of the little shrivelled
black ones. A bottle of white
And for dessert, anisette biscotti
and a thermos of espresso.
She closes her eyes, imagining the meal that might've been.
That's pretty much the exact meal
I'd order for my last day on earth.
I swear to god, if we ever get out
of here I'm going to have to get a
restraining order against-
If they ever get out of here. Her eyes brim, tears spilling
down her cheeks. He tries to sound optimistic.
Can't be too much longer until
dawn. Someone's bound to come along
then. A snowplow or something.
How are your hands?
Starting to burn...
That's good. It means the
circulation's coming back.
Yeah, but I mean really burn...
Hang on. I think I have a few
Tylenol-with-codeine in my purse.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 66.
60 CONTINUED: (5) 60
She climbs into the front seat and searches through her purse
for the prescription bottle. With the poor light and without
her contacts she has trouble finding it. She takes out her
glasses and, a little embarrassed, slips them on.
What's taking so long, nurse -
She's about to climb back when something catches her eye.
INSERT OLD NEWSPAPER --
The one used to patch the small gap in the passenger window.
There's a faded PHOTOGRAPH of a group of ELDERLY PRIESTS
gathered around a MANGLED `55 FORD CROWN VIC. We recognize
one of them, glancing back over his shoulder at the camera,
as the LEADER of the mysterious procession of DARK FIGURES
INTERCUT OLD NEWSPAPER / GIRL & GUY
Oh my god. I think I know who our
old guys are... I mean, were...
Below the accident scene photo are HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK
PORTRAITS of TWO TEENAGE BOYS with crewcuts and letter
jackets bearing a distinctive team insignia "The Cougars."
Across the top of the paper is a torn headline: "North
Granville Youths Killed In Joy Riding Accident" and below it
"Cougars Coach Mourns Loss."
"... first to arrive at the scene
were Roman Catholic priests from
St. Christopher's Home for Retired
Suddenly, the interior light fizzles out, making her jump.
She reaches up and taps on it until it flickers back on.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 67.
60 CONTINUED: (6) 60
"... Hearing the crash on nearby
Route 606, they braved inclement
weather to administer Last
That must be what we saw them
She skim-reads ahead, trying to glean more information.
"... also killed was State Highway
Patrolman... continued on page
She tears the brittle top pages of the newspaper away.
Finds there is no page seven.
You got that Tylenol?
She climbs over into the back seat, feeds him two of the
Tylenol with a sip of water from a bottle. Then stretches
out alongside him again.
We should take turns keeping watch.
In case he comes back.
I'll go first. You get some sleep.
He drifts off to sleep.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 68.
61 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 61
Both kids are asleep in the back seat.
She's dreaming, her eyes roving behind closed lids. All of a
sudden she stirs, eyes fluttering open in the dark. Shivers.
Woken by a cold draft.
She shivers, sits up, disentangling herself from the guy
snoring quietly beside her in the cramped back seat.
She locates the source of the draft.
The STUCK PASSENGER WINDOW up front, where the duct-tape-
newspaper patch has come loose. She shivers as a gust of
wind blows a few snowflakes in.
She grabs the roll of duct tape, climbs up into the front.
Tears off a fresh strip of tape off to replace the old one.
She smooths it in place, her teeth chattering between yawns.
Just then the radio SNAPS on by itself.
Rockin' around, the Christmas tree,
at the Christ-mas par-ty hop.
Her eyes cut to the backlit radio dial as the song continues.
BRENDA LEE (cont'd)
Mistletoe hung where you can see,
ev'ry couple tries to STOP -
The radio SHUTS OFF mid-song.
She holds still, scared to move, scared to even breathe.
Her eyes cut to the interior light as it starts flickering in
a weird staccato way that's more Morse Code than loose wire.
After a few seconds it stops.
The seconds creep by on the dashboard clock.
She peeks over the front seat looking out the back window,
wondering where his highway patrol car is.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 69.
61 CONTINUED: 61
Which is when a gloved fist PUNCHES THROUGH THE WINDOW and
hauls her kicking and screaming out of the Oldsmobile...
62 NIGHTMARE - EXT. `57 CHEVY / ROADSIDE - NIGHT (1958) 62
... and into a sweltering summer night in the late 1950s...
What follows is brutal and hallucinatory: a SERIES OF SHOTS
that thrust us into the sickening first person POV of a
BLONDE young woman, 19, in the final moments of her life.
The RASP of CICADAS in the treetops provide the only
soundtrack to the assault, as we see:
-- CLOSE ON their feet, high heels and boots, doing a violent
two-step as he drags her along the gravel road shoulder
-- HANDHELD footage as she's dragged toward his idling patrol
-- POV of a FULL MOON in the tree-tops, dispassionate
spectator to the assault going on on this lonely stretch of
-- CLOSE UP of the COP'S MOUTH, twisted with lust as he
whispers something obscene we cannot hear.
-- CLOSE ON his HAND working it's way up to her throat,
forcing his thick hairy thumb between her lips and making her
-- POV underneath his patrol car, as his boots kick her feet
apart, and take up position between them
-- The brim of his hat lifting to reveal him looking up with
a scowl of surprise
-- And the cop's scowl curdles into a look of outrage at
sight of --
-- SILHOUETTES of old men watching on the hilltop, roused by
the commotion down on the road below --
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 70.
62 CONTINUED: 62
-- The cop wrenches open the back door of the car, hurls her
in, slams the door shut.
-- He shoots a warning look in the direction of the
SILHOUETTES ON THE HILLTOP that says, "Don't fuck with me..."
-- Then he climbs behind the wheel of his car and drives off.
63 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 63
OUR GIRL's face as her eyes snap open and she bolts upright
in the backseat, scaring the shit out of our guy.
Thank god! You were having some
kind of seizure or someth-
He doesn't get to finish his sentence: Her eyes roll back in
her head and she collapses again, as if yanked down by an
She starts violently CONVULSING in the cramped confines of
the back seat, limbs flailing, feet kicking windows, etc.
Our guy tries everything to wake her: shaking her shoulders,
slapping her face hard. But it's no use: the nightmare has
He sits back, helplessly looking on.
Suddenly the radio SNAPS ON mid-song, scaring the crap out of
You will get a sen-ti-men-tal fee-
ling when you hear... Voices
singing "Let's be jolly, DECK the
halls with boughs of holly"...
The car's rear window brightens with APPROACHING HEADLIGHTS
of a highway patrol car, it's strobe light flooding the
Oldsmobile's interior with RED.
From our girl's eyes going crazy in R.E.M.-pattern we--
SMASH CUT TO:
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 71.
64 OMITTED 64
A64 NIGHTMARE - EXT. WOODS - NIGHT (1958) A64
In a SERIES OF HALLUCINATORY SHOTS we see the BLONDE'S
LIFELESS BODY -- shoeless, dress torn -- being dragged
through the undergrowth and left in a secluded wooded spot.
The COP kicks leaves and dirt over the body, then exits.
65 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 65
CLOSE ON the RADIO, midway through "Rockin' Around the
Our guy listens to the CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH of the cop's
boots outside in the snow, circling the snowbound Oldsmobile.
Whistling along with the song that always accompanies him.
Suddenly the dashboard air vents all OPEN SIMULTANEOUSLY.
A gust of supernaturally frigid cold blows in, like the icy
breath of Old Man Winter himself. White frost spreads with
time-lapse velocity from the air vents across the dashboard.
Our guy scrambles up front, slapping the air vents closed.
Begins ripping off strips of duct tape to plaster over the
vents to keep out the lethal chill.
CLOSE ON OUR GIRL as her nightmare becomes even more violent-
SMASH CUT TO:
66 OMITTED 66
A66 NIGHTMARE - EXT. WOODS / STREAM - NIGHT (1956) A66
Another night, and a different victim. In a SERIES OF SHOTS
we see: the black STRANGER pleading for his life as his
WRISTS and ANKLES are bound roughly with baling wire by the
COP. Ignoring the stranger's desperate pleas, the cop drags
him by the bound wrists through the woods and shoves him down
a muddy incline. He splashes facedown in a shallow stream.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 72.
67 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - AS BEFORE 67
And our girl finally surfaces from the dream as if coming up
for air, with a huge GASP and eyes wild with fear. Only to
find herself in a waking nightmare.
The car interior flooded with red. Our guy terrified.
It's him! Hurry! Help me!
She climbs up front to help our guy frantically taping over
the vents. A shadow moves by the WINDSHIELD and she gasps-
As another shadow goes by in a blur past the BACK WINDOW and
The assault coming from everywhere at once now, the cop an
elemental force, like the storm itself. Skittering along the
undercarriage one moment, across the metal roof the next.
Even appearing -- fleetingly, impossibly -- in the snow on
the blocked driver's side window.
All the electronics in the car start going crazy, power locks
opening and closing, the interior light flickering, the
dashboard clock hands spinning wildly, the windshield wipers
sweeping back and forth, etc.
Then stop all at once.
Even the radio SNAPS OFF.
Dead silence for a beat.
Then an odd SCUTTLING SOUND underfoot, something crawling
along the undercarriage of the car.
Our guy sits there frozen with fear, too scared to move, to
Likewise, the girl sits nervously, watching her breath in the
cold. Her eyes happen to wander to the rear view mirror-
A blue-faced DEAD BABY stares back at her from the rear
She SWINGS around, looks back at the window. But nothing's
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 73.
67 CONTINUED: 67
She turns back, he looks at her with concern. Unsure of her
own senses, she shakes him off. Exhales slowly.
Suddenly the scuttling noises outside EXPLODE into to a full-
There's the shriek of RENDING METAL, the thing outside begins
HAMMERING at the car's hood, doors, etc.
The car gives a violent shudder side-to-side tosses our kids
around like plastic flakes in a snow globe.
The radio snaps back on: the saxophone solo in the Brenda Lee
song, accompanying the violent CLANGS and GROANS of metal
being torn asunder as the thing under the car rips away
muffler, brake lines, wrenches the handles from the doors,
Rockin' around, the Christmas tree,
Have a happy hol-i-day...
Our guy claps hands over his ears so he can't hear the sound
of the cop's rage as he attacks the car, fury growing and
growing until it's indistinguishable from the HOWLING wind
The attack ends.
The red police light in the rear window FADES.
Leaving them sitting there in the dark in stunned silence.
I think... he's gone. I guess when
he couldn't get in he gave up.
I told you these `88 Olds were
built like tanks!
He turns around in the front seat to shake a bandaged fist at
the rear window.
HAH! Next time pick on someone
driving a Hyundai-
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 74.
67 CONTINUED: (2) 67
She claps a hand over his mouth.
Shhh! How do you know it's not a
trick! He could still be out there
He's not! Listen!
They sit in silence, listening, but hear only the wind.
But what if he comes back..?
We just have to stay in the car
until morning. Then we'll be safe.
That can't be more than, like, a
few more hours... Someone's bound
to come along once the sun comes
up... Someone human I mean. Think
you can hold on until then?
What if, you know. We have to pee?
We can use the empty water bottles.
From this point on, the back seat
is a co-ed bathroom. Sound like a
Sounds like a plan.
Why don't you try to get some
sleep? I'll take the next watch.
She shakes her head, eyes full of fear.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 75.
67 CONTINUED: (3) 67
I don't want to sleep.
He nods, understanding.
So they just hunker down in the front seat, staring at the
snow covered windshield, and start the long wait to morning.
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
68 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 68
The snow is slacking off. The stranded Oldsmobile is now
completely snowbound, a car-shaped hillock of white on the
69 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 69
The interior of the car is eerily QUIET, cocooned in snow.
The kids sit in silence in the front seat, fighting to stay
awake. His face is pale, skull visible beneath the skin.
She stares at the black, snow-covered windshield.
I gotta pee...
She climbs over into the back seat and crouches down,
urinating as demurely as possible into an empty bottle.
I swear, I never met anyone who had
to go so much.
You should ask Santa to bring you a
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 76.
69 CONTINUED: 69
I'm serious! It's hard enough doing
this in front of you.
What, are you one of those people
who can't pee with the bathroom
No. But it's not something I
usually do until much later in a
She catches herself at the last second, but it's too late:
the word "relationship" hangs in the air. Beat.
Finished peeing, she twists the cap on the water bottle.
Sets it on the floor with the other URINE-FILLED BOTTLES.
Noticing ONE BOTTLE that doesn't look like the others.
She climbs over into the front to confront him with the urine
bottle, which is tinged with PINK.
What the hell is this? Is this
How badly were you hurt in the
No big deal. Just your average day
in the NHL...
But she sees through his tough-guy facade. He's frightened.
How long have you known?
Since I tried hiking back to the
gas station. You were right, I
never got anywhere near it. I
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 76A.
69 CONTINUED: (2) 69
started hurling blood, so I turned
around and came back.
Why didn't you tell me?
I didn't want to scare you-
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 77.
69 CONTINUED: (3) 69
Suddenly he goes rigid in pain, his teeth clenched. She
looks on helplessly.
We've got to get you some help now.
You won't make it to morning. I'm
going to try and hike back to the
How far do you think you'd get out
there before running into Mr.
I'm not going to just sit here and
watch you die!
They sit there a moment in silence. She digs out her
cellphone and checks for a signal: NO SIGNAL BARS.
Damn it! We need a land line ...
A long beat.
Then she's struck by an idea.
She switches on the wipers to clear snow from the windshield.
Wipes at the foggy glass until she's got enough of a peephole
to peek out.
What are you looking at?
Telephone poles. They must have a
junction box or something to test
the lines ... There! See that one?
She indicates a TELEPHONE POLE twenty yards up from them.
There's a SMALL GREY STEEL JUNCTION BOX near the top.
She turns, leaning over the seatback to rummage among his
junk in the back. She retrieves his old wall TELEPHONE,
examines the jack at end of its cord.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 78.
69 CONTINUED: (4) 69
So maybe there's some way I can...
I don't know... jack into it or
something. Try and call for help.
You want to climb a telephone pole?
Of course I don't want to! But it's
got rungs. Can't be any harder than
the climbing wall at my gym. Big
fat repair guys do it all the time,
Trying to convince herself.
But you're forgetting one thing...
He's out there.
They both go quiet.
She sits there with the phone in her lap, brooding on this.
Until something clicks.
The song! That old Christmas song
on the radio. It always comes on
just before he shows up...
She switches on the RADIO.
They hear Elvis Presley's 1957 "Blue Christmas" playing.
Keep listening. If `Rockin' Around
the Christmas Tree' comes on, yell
(trying to convince
Hopefully I'll have enough time to
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 79.
70 EXT. ROADSIDE / TELEPHONE POLE - HIGH ANGLE - NIGHT 70
Looking down at the stranded Oldsmobile from the top of the
telephone pole. The grey JUNCTION BOX in the foreground.
The weird HUMMING is louder here.
71 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 71
He watches her prep for her mission out into the bitter cold.
She disconnects the TELEPHONE RECEIVER from it's base, wraps
it in its chord, stows it for safekeeping under her sweater.
I've been thinking...
Eternal recurrence. Maybe it
wouldn't be so bad.
Repeating this life. Over and over.
Exactly the same each time.
Even the last twenty-four hours?
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 80.
71 CONTINUED: 71
He shows a weak smile. Even the last twenty four hours.
Yeah, but it's even nicer to think
maybe we get a chance to fix all
the things we screwed up the first
time around, don't you think?
They fall silent, both thinking about this.
Know what I'd do different? Next
time I'd just to walk up to you
after class... and say "Hey."
You should. Definitely. Do that.
She uses her sweater cuff to make clean spot on his cheek.
Kisses him tenderly.
The kiss working it's way to his mouth, lingering a beat.
Their lips part.
He catches her arm as she reaches for the power window
switch, holds tight.
Don't let me die out here-
She looks at him with fierce eyes full of determination. The
look calms him, at least a little.
She keys the ignition, lowers the passenger side window.
The duct tape rips away as the window glides down, admitting
a mini-avalanche of powdery snow and a frigid blast of cold.
She climbs out.
72 EXT. ROADSIDE / TELEPHONE POLE - NIGHT 72
Viewed from high atop the telephone pole she looks small and
vulnerable as she climbs out of the Oldsmobile-shaped igloo.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 81.
73 EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT 73
An eerie HUSH has fallen, snow muffling sound except for the
occasional forlorn wailing of the WIND through the trees.
She sets out through deep powder toward the TELEPHONE POLE.
74 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 74
Teeth chattering, he watches through the windshield as she
begins her long trek across the MOONLIT EXPANSE OF WHITE.
He turns up the VOLUME on the radio, which is now playing a
funereal church-organ instrumental of "Silent Night."
75 EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT 75
The deep powder makes her trek difficult, and she's soon
winded. Her breath plumes in the frigid arctic cold.
76 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 76
CLOSE ON THE BACKLIT RADIO DIAL as "Silent Night" concludes.
In between STATIC we hear a pre-recorded PUBLIC SERVICE
The State Weather Bureau has issued
an extreme cold warning...
77 EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT 77
She leans into the wind as it gusts, the cold bringing tears
to her eyes. She puts her head down and soldiers on.
RADIO PSA (O.S.)
...Residents of Carbon County are
advised to seek shelter as sub-zero
temperatures produce wind chills in
excess of twenty below...
78 EXT. ROADSIDE / TELEPHONE POLE - NIGHT 78
Arriving at the base of the telephone pole, she peers up at
the grey JUNCTION BOX high above. From here the top of the
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 82.
78 CONTINUED: 78
telephone pole looks much higher than it did from the car.
And the iron rungs look a lot narrower, too.
She's losing her nerve.
She glances back to check no police lights are coming.
Then puts her foot on the first rung and hauls herself up.
79 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - THAT MOMENT 79
CLOSE ON THE RADIO, where, between increasingly long snatches
of STATIC we can just discern Gene Autry's version of "Here
Comes Santa Claus."
80 EXT. ROADSIDE / TELEPHONE POLE - AS BEFORE 80
The rungs are icy, forcing her to climb slower than she would
like. She keeps her eyes forward, never once looking down.
When the wind gusts she pauses and waits for it to subside.
She's midway to the top when her foot SLIPS on an icy rung.
She clutches the pole tightly, wind whistling in her ears.
She waits until her heart slows and she's recovered from her
Then looks up to gauge the distance left to the JUNCTION BOX.
She reaches the last rung at the TOP OF THE TELEPHONE POLE.
It's noisy up here, thanks to the WIND and the icy telephone
wires, source of the mysterious HUMMING she's been hearing.
She tries the little metal door of the grey JUNCTION BOX.
She fumbles in her coat, takes out the SCISSORS, uses them to
try and pry open the junction box (which turns out to be
frozen shut, not locked after all.)
It finally yields, opening.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 83.
80 CONTINUED: 80
Revealing a rat's nest of multicolored WIRES and PHONE JACKS.
Hurrying now, she tugs her glove off with her teeth, and with
her bare hand retrieves the cord-wrapped RECEIVER from inside
her sweater. In her effort to juggle all these items she
loses her grip on the SCISSORS...
Which drop all the way down to disappear in the snow below.
She concentrates now on the receiver. But her fingers are so
clumsy from the cold, she fumbles it.
And the receiver FALLS too.
Then jerks to a STOP a few feet below as it reaches the limit
of its cord.
Which she's managed to catch. She winds the receiver up by
its cord, finally plugs the jack-end into the junction box.
Hears a DIAL TONE.
(stunned she did it)
Oh my god!
Teeth chattering she thumbs "0" for the operator.
(as it rings)
Please please please please please-
On the third ring an OPERATOR answers.
Nine-one-one emergency response.
Thank god! Hi! Hello! We need help!
What's that? Can you repeat-
We're on highway 606! Oh god,
please hurry! We need help! My
friend is hurt-
Can you repeat your-
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 84.
80 CONTINUED: (2) 80
The connection SPARKS and she feels a small shock that makes
her drop the phone. When she retrieves it and holds it back
to her ear the line is DEAD.
No way of knowing if her message got through.
It's a moment of such soul-crushing despair she shuts her
eyes and leans her head against the pole, as if wanting to
just quietly die up here thirty feet above the earth.
81 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - THAT MOMENT 81
CLOSE ON THE RADIO playing nothing but STATIC now.
82 EXT. ROADSIDE / TELEPHONE POLE - AS BEFORE 82
Her eyes open, and she commences climbing back down to earth.
She reaches the second set of rungs from the bottom and drops
the last several feet. The snow does little to cushion her
fall and she goes sprawling, lays there for a dazed moment.
She starts crawling on all fours back toward the stranded
Olds. Suddenly she stops as she comes upon-
A WOMAN'S BARE FEET
standing in the snow, veins visible through gravid skin.
A thick spatter of mud lands on the bare foot.
Our girl raises her eyes to see -
A DEAD WOMAN
It's the blonde we saw raped and murdered in the summer of
1958. Her dress is in tattered ruins, coated in leaves and
dirt like someone recently exhumed from a shallow grave.
Her head is twisted at an unnatural angle on a broken neck.
Our girl GASPS and scrambles to her feet, fleeing.
Only to stop dead in her tracks as she nearly collides with-
TWO DEAD TEENAGE BOYS
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 85.
82 CONTINUED: 82
The joyriding teens killed on Christmas Eve 1958.
Both wear blood-soaked letterman jackets bearing the
DISTINCTIVE COUGAR INSIGNIA and stand in a post-accident
One's chest is concave, stove-in by the impact with the
steering wheel. The other's teeth are visible where his
cheek has been torn away.
She reels away in horror, forced to take the long way back to
the Oldsmobile. She runs the last few yards to the car where
we can hear the eerie sound of STATIC emanating from the
radio as she hurls herself -
83 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 83
She sits there, out of breath. She glances over quickly at
our guy, gravely pale, slumped unconscious behind the
She chafes her hands to get the circulation going again.
She turns down the volume on the radio.
- I did it - got through - but I
don't know how much she understood -
the operator I mean -
He doesn't respond.
- Just have to hope - maybe - they
can trace the line -
When this too gets no response from him she looks over,
frowning. She scoots a little closer across the front seat
Which is when WE SEE -
standing outside the car, slack-expressioned and staring.
He stands there a beat, then drifts off into the night.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 86.
83 CONTINUED: 83
Hang in there, can't be much
She reaches to jostle him awake. One touch confirms her
She reaches up to switch on the INTERIOR LIGHT, to get a
better look at him.
Her reaction is so sudden and violent and overwhelming it
seems for a moment she's going to be sick. She covers her
mouth, muffling a cry of raw-throated terror.
Then shakes him again, harder this time, desperate to wake
No! Please! Don't leave me alone!
Tears spill down her cheeks as she fights hysteria. She
shakes him harder. His inert body spills to one side,
slumping against her.
Her grief turns to something else, instinctive and immediate:
revulsion, at the feel of his cold dead weight against her.
She scrambles across the front seat to put as much distance
as she can between herself and the corpse.
Cowers against the passenger door.
The INTERIOR LIGHT flickers out as the battery finally dies.
84 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE / ROADSIDE - MOMENTS LATER 84
The door opens and she backs out, hauling the dead body after
her. Her face is red, tear-streaked.
Sorry... sorry... I'm sorry...
She strains to move his dead weight. Her feet slip on the
ice and she lets go of him, catching herself on the open
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 87.
84 CONTINUED: 84
She grabs the body under the armpits, hauls with all her
strength. Drags him a few yards away from the Oldsmobile.
His boot heels ploughing twin gouges in the snow.
Behind her, gravity pulls the heavy car door shut with a soft
Suddenly her feet go out from under her as she hits a patch
of ice. She goes down hard on her ass, sprawling. Sits
there a beat, as-
HEADLIGHTS appear on the dark horizon. We see them a split-
second before she does...
When she glimpses the oncoming headlights out of the corner
of her eye she turns her head slowly in their direction, and
for an instant it almost seems as if they don't register.
Then her eyes widen in terror, she lets out a small whimper,
and leaps into action.
She scrambles to her feet and makes a mad dash toward the
Only to find when she tugs on the handle that it's STUCK.
She yanks on it harder, getting frantic now, as -
The HEADLIGHTS get brighter, bearing down, close enough now
that we can hear the ROAR of the oncoming engine.
She kicks the handle, tugs with all her might, rocking the
car but not succeeding in getting the door open.
As the headlights become BLINDING...
Suddenly there's the sound of BRAKES being engaged, and the
headlights slow to a stop just a few yards shy of where she's
standing in the middle of the road.
She shields her eyes with an upraised hand.
It's a SNOWPLOW.
The SNOWPLOW DRIVER, 50s, sticks his head out the window.
You kids okay?
She's too stunned to speak.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 88.
84 CONTINUED: (2) 84
TITLE CARD ON BLACK:
85 EXT. SNOWPLOW / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 85
The snowplow driver is a hale townie dressed like a high
school principal on a hunting trip.
He and our girl transfer our guy's lifeless body to the BACK
SEAT of the snowplow.
86 INT. SNOWPLOW - CONTINUOUS 86
Inside the cab it's blessedly warm. The dashboard panel, GPS
and CB radio are lit up like a Christmas tree.
While the snowplow driver tests the front tire chains, our
girl checks on our guy's body.
The snowplow driver climbs up behind the wheel, gives her a
sympathetic look. Picks up the C.B. microphone.
Dispatch, come in...
I'm out at the site of that
reported accident on 606. One of
them didn't make it. I'm taking
the other directly to the trauma
unit in Hadleyville.
The driver puts the snowplow in gear and sets off driving.
Her eyes cut to the-
Where she sees the STRANDED OLDSMOBILE receding in the
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 89.
87 EXT. ROUTE 606 - NIGHT 87
The snowplow cruises along, its plow blade throwing twin
white rooster's tails of ice and snow to either side.
88 INT. SNOWPLOW - NIGHT 88
She stares blankly out the window at the snow swirling in the
The snowplow driver makes small-talk to help pass the time.
Been some real bad accidents on
this road over the years. When I
was growing up, there was a family
from New York City found out here
QUICK CUT TO:
89 EXT. STRANDED VOLVO - DAY (1970) 89
Three blue CORPSES sit in the car: mother, father, infant.
Their gaping mouths frozen open in a silent rictus scream.
90 INT. SNOWPLOW - AS BEFORE 90
The snowplow driver shakes his head at the eerie memory.
... fire department had to hose
them down with hot water for two
hours to thaw them out. I remember
back in high school there was a
stupid rumor going around if you
went driving out here on moonless
nights and looked up in your
rearview, you might see the dead
baby in your backseat ...
She frowns at this, reminded of her earlier vision.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 90.
90 CONTINUED: 90
What about those ruins up on the
hill? The retirement home for old
Tragic story. Winter of `61 they
were all found froze to death in
QUICK CUT TO:
91 & 92 OMITTED 91 & 92
93 INT. DORMITORY - NIGHT (1960) 93
ELDERLEY PRIESTS lie motionless in their beds, FACES frozen
in blue rictus deathmasks.
94 INT. SNOWPLOW - AS BEFORE 94
The snowplow driver squints out at the murky horizon ahead.
Must've been a pilot on the boiler
went out, or something...
CLOSE ON our girl, processing this. She has her suspicions
the truth isn't as simple as a pilot light blowing out.
SNOWPLOW DRIVER (cont'd)
Actually, there's no big mystery
why this is such a bad stretch of
road for motorists. You got low-
lying fog that gets trapped in the
valley, reduces visibility to-
Just then BRIGHT HEADLIGHTS appear out of the pre-dawn gloom.
SNOWPLOW DRIVER (cont'd)
Who in the hell is out driving in
He scowls, raising a meaty hand to shield his eyes.
A dread look of déjà vu crosses our girl's face.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 91.
94 CONTINUED: 94
SNOWPLOW DRIVER (cont'd)
Must be Tom McClintic. Only fellow
I know who lives way out here...
He reaches for the C.B. mike, thumbs the switch.
SNOWPLOW DRIVER (cont'd)
Tom, is that you?
It's not Tom...
And as the ONCOMING HEADLIGHTS OF THE HIGHWAY PATROLMAN get
brighter, she calmly buckles her seatbelt.
95 EXT. ROUTE 606 - THAT MOMENT 95
The ONCOMING CAR roars down the middle of the pickup's lane,
the distance between the speeding vehicles closing fast. The
game of chicken is fast approaching the point of no return.
96 INT. SNOWPLOW - AS BEFORE 96
They watch the ONCOMING HEADLIGHTS.
Doesn't this stupid son of a gun
realize we're bigger than him?! No
way he's going to win this fight!
He blasts his horn, but the HEADLIGHTS just keep coming.
She braces for impact. At the last possible moment the
snowplow driver jerks the wheel hard to the right.
97 EXT. ROUTE 606 - NIGHT 97
SERIES OF SHOTS:
- The snowplow fishtails out of control, its plow blade
slicing through snow and ice until metal bites blacktop,
throwing up SPARKS.
- The 1950s HIGHWAY PATROL CAR (the HIGHWAY PATROLMAN behind
the wheel) veering off in the opposite direction.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 92.
97 CONTINUED: 97
- The snowplow flipping ASS-OVER-TEAKETTLE
- Inside the snowplow the world somersaults, our guy's body
thrown halfway out of the shattered windshield onto the hood.
- The highway patrol car skidding off the side of the road
and dropping from sight, crashing with a SPLASH somewhere in
- As the snowplow comes to a rest right-side up on its tires
as we -
SMASH TO BLACK
98 EXT. PRECIPICE / RAVINE - LATER 98
The WRECKED SNOWPLOW has ended up on the edge of the ravine
where the highway patrol car disappeared.
There's a metallic GROAN of hinges as the snowplow's driver's
side door opens and the SNOWPLOW DRIVER, dazed but unhurt,
He calls down into the gloom below, where we hear the faint
sounds of the highway patrol car's RADIO playing "Rockin'
Around the Christmas Tree."
Hang on, officer, I'm coming...
Then he begins to make his way down.
99 INT. WRECKED SNOWPLOW - THAT MOMENT 99
Our girl rouses from her post-accident daze. Sees the body
of our guy thrown through the windshield. She eases it back
inside and onto the seat beside her.
She looks up in time to see through the windshield -
The SNOWPLOW DRIVER making his way down the steep slippery
Her eyes go wide as she suddenly realizes where he's headed.
She unbuckles her seatbelt, throws open the passenger door,
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 93.
100 EXT. SNOWPLOW / ROADSIDE - NIGHT 100
The instant she sets foot outside she stops dead, the blood
rushing from her face and her eyes going wide in disbelief.
PAN 360-DEGREES to reveal a landscape she knows all-too-well:
The stranded `88 Oldsmobile.
The telephone pole she climbed.
They haven't gone anywhere.
No time to puzzle it out. The sound of the snowplow driver
making his way down the embankment O.S. stirs her to action.
101 EXT. RAVINE - CONTINUOUS 101
She starts down the steep snowy embankment after the snowplow
driver, who is now far enough below to be out of sight.
Wait! Don't go down there! Stop!
Suddenly the snowy leaves gives way under her and she SLIPS.
Lands hard and SLIDES the rest of the way down on her ass.
102 EXT. BOTTOM OF RAVINE - CONTINUOUS 102
She comes to a stop thirty feet below at the bottom of the
ravine beside the surprised SNOWPLOW DRIVER.
And the HIGHWAY PATROL CAR.
It's resting on its roof in the snow at the bottom of the
ravine, wheels in the air. It looks like an overturned
Something moves in its front seat.
The snowplow driver calls to the TRAPPED HIGHWAY PATROLMAN.
Hang on, officer! We'll get you
She catches his arm to stop him.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 94.
102 CONTINUED: 102
No!!! Don't go near it!!!
What!!? We have to get him out of
Smoke rises from the car's gas tank, a small FIRE burning.
Doesn't matter! He's already dead!
What the hell are you talking
Inside the overturned car the trapped HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
struggles. His hat has fallen off and floats in the icy
water flooding the car, threatening to short the radio.
Which is playing the same song as Christmas Eve fifty-seven
years earlier. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."
Despite being pinned upside-down and in pain from injuries
sustained in the accident, he chuckles at his predicament.
We realize he's been drinking.
As he struggles to free himself the cop looks in the
direction of the snowplow driver and our girl.
Should've known you vultures would
Try not to move, officer, you might
have a neck injury.
But the cop continues to struggle, pain sobering him.
What are you waiting for, a letter
from the Bishop?
Suddenly it dawns on our girl that he isn't talking to them.
Also that they aren't alone.
Widen to reveal -
A DOZEN ELDERLY PRIESTS in black winter coats and fedoras are
standing all around them on the snowy embankment, faces grim.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 95.
102 CONTINUED: (2) 102
The residents of St. Christopher's Home for Retired Clergy.
Suddenly there's a WHOOSH as the engine fire spreads across
the car's undercarriage, moving toward the FUEL TANK.
The priests exchange a look, reaching some silent decision.
The LEADER of the elderly priests comes forward.
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (cont'd)
Hurry it up, I smell gas...
The snowplow driver stands there, confused by what he's
The old priest crouches down, reaches through the open window
past the trapped highway patrolman.
Rips out the chattering TWO-WAY RADIO by its cord.
The cop's face registers disbelief, then fury, as he realizes
the priests aren't going to help him. Are in fact condemning
him for years of crimes committed on this stretch of road.
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (cont'd)
Oh no you don't! You bastards have
no right to sit in judgement of me.
I know what you're thinking but I
had nothing to do with that drunk
girl's disappearance. I saw her
home safely. Just ask the County
investigators. And anything else
you think you saw? All of it was
He sputters as gasoline drips on his face from above.
Another WHOOSH, blue flames spreading out from the fuel line.
The cop smells smoke, a pleading note entering his voice now.
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (cont'd)
Please, father... For the love of
Christ have mercy on a poor sinner!
There's a SMALL EXPLOSION, and the inside of the car starts
filling with FLAMES and black smoke.
The trapped highway patrolman begins burning alive, cursing.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 96.
102 CONTINUED: (3) 102
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (cont'd)
Goddamn you filthy bastards! You
think you'll be rid of me!? You'll
never be rid of me!! I'll be your
worst nightmare!! I'll be -
The rest is lost in a second larger EXPLOSION.
Flames flicker on the elderly faces of the priests gathered
here to bear mute witness. They watch the burning patrol car
for a moment longer, then one by one climb the embankment.
A103 EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT (1958) A103
Christmas, 1958. The crash scene we saw depicted in the news
clipping. The wrecked `55 CROWN VIC. PRIESTS administering
last rights two the two TEENS in letter jackets: one already
dead, the other breathing his last breaths.
B103 EXT. BOTTOM OF RAVINE - AS BEFORE B103
Our girl and the rattled snowplow driver stand there in the
silence and the flickering firelight from the burning car.
Come on. We can go now. It's over.
The snowplow driver, stunned, speechless, can only stand
there and nod.
The COP launches himself out of the window of the overturned
car at them.
Skin peeled and blackened, he starts crawling over the rocks,
dragging his paralyzed lower body after them.
The snowplow driver's eyes go wide and he stands rooted in
place, unable to move.
She grabs him by the arm, pulls him away.
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 97.
B103 CONTINUED: B103
He comes to his senses, staggers up the embankment after her.
He loses his footing on the icy rocks and goes sprawling.
As the cop seizes him around the legs, and starts crawling up
the length of his body.
We hear the sizzle of instant FROSTBITE, the frost spreading
with time-lapse speed up the snowplow driver's limbs as he
shrieks in agony.
Until even his shriek is FROZEN IN HIS LUNGS.
ANGLE ON OUR GIRL
As she begins scrambling up the snowy slope away from the
Suddenly she loses her grip and starts to slide back down on
her belly toward the cop a dozen feet below.
She whimpers, fingers clutching at anything.
Finally she succeeds, manages to haul herself up the steep
embankment, climbing with everything she's got left in her
until she reaches the road.
103 EXT. TOP OF THE RAVINE / WRECKED SNOWPLOW - NIGHT 103
She hauls herself up from the gloomy abyss, wrenches the
driver side door open and scrambles inside -
104 INT. WRECKED SNOWPLOW - CONTINUOUS 104
She pulls the door closed, twists the key in the ignition.
Come on, come on!
She tries again. And again. But the engine is dead.
Just then she notices the "power" light glowing on the C.B.
She ducks under the dashboard, retrieves the microphone, sits
up again -
WIND CHILL - Yellow Revisions 2/23/05 98.
104 CONTINUED: 104
Standing right outside the snowplow, restored to his former
glory, grinning at her.
Then the smile curdles. He reaches through the shattered
window. Grabbing for her.
She scrabbles just out of reach. Pins herself against the
opposite door. Cornered.
Get away from her, you bastard!
And OUR GUY'S GHOST appears out of the gloom.
He swings a CROWBAR into the cop's skull.
And, just like before, there's a VIOLENT FLASH OF light and -
SMASH CUT TO:
105 INT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - NIGHT 105
It's like someone pressed RESET.
She's back inside the STRANDED OLDSMOBILE, seated beside the
body of our guy.
Her panicked breathing turns into hyperventilation as she
realizes all efforts to escape the road are futile.
Suddenly she spots something through the windshield that
causes her breath to catch -
OUR GUY'S GHOST
heading down the road toward the trees.
She gasps. Starts sobbing.
Throws open the door and scrambles out.
106 EXT. STRANDED OLDSMOBILE - CONTINUOUS 106
The sky is showing the first signs of approaching dawn.
She watches OUR GUY'S GHOST moving into the woods, back
toward the direction from which they came.
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106 CONTINUED: 106
She stands there, exhausted, spent.
A familiar SONG begins to chime on her cellphone RINGTONE:
("Rockin Around the X-mas
Ding-da-da DING, da-DING da-DING...
Her eyes widen in terror. She fumbles out the cellphone.
Stabs the "off" button with her thumb.
She instinctively starts back to the stranded Oldsmobile -
Looks at the ghost.
And in that moment decides, for better or worse, to follow
She takes off down the road.
We follow as she hurries to catch up with our guy's ghost.
She's close enough now to hear that he's MUMBLING something.
...I would've told you everything
Exhausted, she's having trouble keeping up with him.
...then it wouldn't be stalkerish.
(out of breath)
... It would just be this sweet
funny story we'd have...
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106 CONTINUED: (2) 106
But it's no use. She stops trying to keep up and pauses
briefly, devastated, catching her breath. Then she pushes on
in the direction he went.
It's almost light out now, and SHE'S ALONE, staggering along
the road as quickly as her exhausted state allows. It's like
running in a dream, never fast enough to outdistance an
But then she hears it -
She can't believe she's made it back to civilization.
FADE TO BLACK.
107 EXT. PENN-WAY QUICK MART - MORNING 107
The gas pumps are crowded with EMERGENCY VEHICLES and
PERSONNEL. The morning calm is broken by the BEEP BEEP BEEP
of trucks backing up, the BLEET of arriving ambulances, the
constant CHATTER of two-way radios.
OUR GIRL is seated in the back of an open ambulance with a
blanket draped around her shoulders, allowing EMTs to treat
She watches ATTENDANTS from the county morgue zip the bodies
of our guy and the snowplow driver into BODYBAGS.
Suddenly she remembers her cellphone, and takes it out.
INSERT CELLPHONE DISPLAY --
It's the DIGITAL PICTURE OF OUR GUY when she first met him,
asleep behind the wheel of the `88 Olds in student parking.
BACK TO SCENE
She closes her cellphone.
The EMT helps her into the passenger seat of the ambulance.
As the ambulance drives off we CRANE UP to see...
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107 CONTINUED: 107
In the distance, the haunted road snaking through the white