Lizzy is a tough, resourceful woman who faces the harshness and isolation of untamed land in the Western frontier of the late 1800s. Isolated from civilization in a desolate wilderness where the wind never stops howling, she begins to sense a sinister presence that seems to be borne of the land itself, an overwhelming dread that her husband dismisses as superstition. When a newlywed couple arrives on a nearby homestead, their presence amplifies Lizzy’s fears, setting into motion a shocking chain of events. The Wind is an unseen evil that haunts a lonely homestead in this chilling, folkloric tale of madness, paranoia, and otherworldly terror that masterfully blends dark and haunting visuals with gripping, pulse-pounding sound design. Director Emma Tammi evokes a godforsaken world in which the forces of nature come alive with quivering menace.
As the summary says, “The Wind” centers around a couple, Elizabeth Macklin (Caitlin Gerard), Lizzy for short, and her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) who live in an isolated cabin on the prairie, which is in the middle of nowhere, in the 1800s. However, the main focus is on Lizzie, as we follow her trials and tribulations in a somewhat fractured, perhaps unreliable narrative. She is slowly falling apart right in front of our eyes, one piece at a time, most of which stems from Isaac being absent for weeks at a time, leaving Lizzy struggling with excessive loneliness and the psychological effects of (something we discover later) a failed pregnancy.
We are shown that the couple were not always alone but actually had neighbors, their only neighbors for miles and miles. Emma (Julia Goldani Telles), a seemingly flirty and bored housewife, and her downtrodden husband Gideon (Dylan McTee), The two couples form an uneasy bond with each other, as it’s clear that they happy that they are not alone, but at the same time they all want their space.
From the very beginning, the tale is dark and menacing. It starts off with two men standing outside of a cabin. One we soon realize is Isaac, Lizzy’s husband, and the other is Gideon Harper, Emma’s husband. They are just standing their facing the front of the cabin when slowly the front door begins to open and we see Lizzy slowly walking towards them, covered in blood and carrying what looks like a newborn baby swaddled in blood-soaked blankets. She says not a word, none of them do, but then Gideon walks up to her and carefully takes the baby from her arms. We learn that Lizzy had tried to save the baby by cutting it from its dead mother, Emma, who is suspected of having lost her mind and committed suicide right before the baby was due. In the distance, we hear a distraught Gideon cry out in horror and pain as he grieves for his dead wife and son.
The next morning Isaac informs Lizzy that Gideon is going to move back to his hometown and that he is going to escort him the entire way. He promises her he will return in a few days with supplies to carry them through the winter months ahead. The film now flashes back to a past time and then back to the present in an attempt to explain what exactly has occurred, presenting us with the events that have led to Lizzy being the person she currently is and why Emma killed herself. The film becomes a tale of “is there a real supernatural force on these desolate plains that caused the women to do what they did or is there something more sinister happening here? The Wind no doubt wants you to try and sort out if the antagonists are indeed mentally ill, or if there truly exists a supernatural force on the prairie where the four homesteaders ultimately come to live. Look a little deeper and you might actually discover that it’s really a metaphorical examination of the mindset of a less enlightened time when women were very much second-class citizens who were expected to tend to the home and else.
Whatever the case may be, this film is absolutely one that you should watch when you have time, as the story is all over the place with many flashbacks being shown, but very much needed as they give amazing insights to what really happened. There are so many minor details to the plot that is easy to miss, leading and misleading you one way or another to whether this is psychological or demonic in its execution. I think this film does an excellent job of conveying the terror that comes from the isolation and the vastness of an empty, vast landscape and the hardships the early settlers faced.
I really did enjoy this film, it reminded me a lot of The VVitch, only in The VVitch it was clear as to what the menace was. The music score in this was spot on, simply beautiful, well-done and fit perfectly where it was placed, and was deeply appropriate for the stark landscapes. The cinematography fully captured the beauty of the mid-western prairies, and just how vast and lonely they could be. The acting, of all the parts, was just brilliant and well done, they all did fantastic jobs, especially Lizzy, who nearly soloed the entire movie. It has a nice amount of creepy and dark moments, maybe a jump-scare here and there, but not even close to being an annoying amount. Not a lot of blood and gore, except the part (or parts in this case) of the kitchen table after Lizzy attempted to do a C-Section on Emma. That was pretty darn nasty.
This is definitely a movie that will stick with you, or at least I know it will with me. I wished I could tell you how I interpreted the ending, but I’d have to reveal way too much of what happened in the movie, and that would take the fun away from you. However, I will give you a big tip, pay attention to ALL of the flashbacks, watch them closely, and especially pay attention to what dress Lizzy is wearing and when she’s not. That right there will get you FAR into the understanding of this one. I promise. Anyway, I do highly recommend this movie, it will absolutely keep you involved and guessing, and I believe all paranormal lovers will enjoy this film as well.
Title: The Wind
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Western
Studio: IFC Midnight
Starring: Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman
MPAA Rated: R
Director(s): Emma Tammi
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 4.0 /5
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