In 1998, the brilliant marketing campaign for “The Blair Witch Project” nearly broke the still-fledgling commercial internet, peppering it with hints and rumors and worries that the found-footage thriller was actually real (hell, that the entire still-new “found-footage thriller” genre was actually real), forever changing movie marketing in the process. Over two decades later, it’s still a stroke of genius worthy of being imitated, and even if consumers are far too hip to believe all this mumbo-jumbo again (or are they?), few things are as amusing as watching the lines between “film” and “reality” blur.
Enter Brendan Walsh’s IFC Midnight thriller “Centigrade,” which adds a (literally) chilling dimension to a genre still pushing its boundaries. The film’s official synopsis plays up the “Blair Witch Project” of it all: “In 2002, a young American couple, Matthew and Naomi travel to the arctic mountains of Norway. After pulling over during a snowstorm, they wake up trapped in their SUV, buried underneath layers of snow and Ice. As if the stakes aren’t high enough, Naomi is eight months pregnant in their frozen prison. With few resources, a dwindling food supply, and nothing but time, tension, blame, and personal secrets bubble to the surface. Matthew and Naomi realize they must work together to survive in a crippling battle against the elements, hypothermia, disturbing hallucinations, and plunging temperatures reaching as low as -30C.”
A natty new featurette for the film digs even further into the “real life” mystery at the heart of the film — of note: Walsh did pull from about 10 different true stories to craft “Centigrade” — and introduces a sterling cast of performers who only deepen the mystery. While “Centigrade” is essentially a two-hander between stars Vincent Piazza and Genesis Rodriguez, this winking look at the film includes big names who don’t even appear in the final film, including Isabella Rossellini, Kelsey Grammer, Rubén Blades, Louis Cancelmi, Malin Barr, and Judith Roberts.
Check out an exclusive new look at the mysteries of “Centigrade,” only on IndieWire, below. IFC Midnight will release the film on all digital platforms and in select drive-in theaters this Friday, August 28.