THE WIND (2018)
Directed by Emma Tammi
Written by Teresa Sutherland
Starring Caitlin Gerard, Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Dylan McTee, Martin C Patterson, Ashley Zukerman
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THE WIND delivers a harrowing western horror experience in the tradition of THE VVITCH. This “LITTLE HOUSE ON THE SCARY” has all the right dramatic and terrifying beats all the way through.
Lizzy Macklin (Caitlin Gerard) and her husband Isaac (Asjley Zuckerman) have built their selves a house in the Midwest, a daring feat in the late 1800’s. While they lost their first child, they are still striving in the harsh frontier, planting crops and fortifying their home for the upcoming winter season. Late in the season, a new couple arrives. The Harpers, Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and Gideon (Dylan McTee). As strong as the Macklins are, the Harpers are weak. The newlyweds lack the skill or the mentality to survive in the harsh winter ahead and without children to take care of their own, Lizzy and Isaac sort of adopt these two strangers, helping them build and prepare for what is to come. While Isaac and Gideon are busy doing the “man” things, Lizzy is left to be with Emma, who proves to be a difficult and spirited lass. As the winter looms, supernatural forces that have inhabited the land for ages threaten both couples and Emma’s unborn child.
Told in a pretzeltine manner, THE WIND skips around temporally telling the tale of Lizzy’s ordeal with her child, her aid to Emma in preparing for her own child, and her arduous battle with the supernatural in the story’s present. If you don’t pay attention, one might get lost as the story skips between these three time frames plenty of times in the narrative. Fortunately, this is an engrossing tale that is easy to follow, despite the zig zag wat the story unfolds. This is due to the superb acting of Caitlin Gerard who basically carries this entire movie on her petite shoulders as Lizzy, who despite her diminutive form proves to be a powerhouse to all forms of threat.
THE WIND succeeds in incorporating the best aspects of frontier storytelling with the paranormal, only at intermittent and important times. This is a film that focuses mostly on Lizzy’s strong character. Her reactions to the harsh environment she is in, the challenging relationships she has with her husband and Emma, and the conflict she has with ancient demons that inhabit the plains only prove that she is one frontier lady not to be messed with.
The supernatural aspects are subtle, but still pack quite a punch. There are moments of sheer tension, done with simple shadows, taut editing, and fantastic reactions from Gerard that will make your toes clench. This is a fantastic story of survival that doesn’t overdo the supernatural, but still seems to work it into almost every scene. THE WIND is not an over the top effects fest. It’s a film that relies on strong performances and the ever-threatening environment to support the horror. THE WIND is a unique and harrowing film drenched in authenticity and highlighting the strong will of its protagonist. Very much recommended to be seen by all who like their horror on the sophisticated side.