The Wind (2018)
Film: The Wind
Director: Emma Tammi
Writer: Teresa Sutherland
Starring: Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard and Julia Goldani Telles
This was a film that I caught a trailer before a film I was seeing in the theaters and when I then saw it was showing, I decided to catch it. I came in knowing really nothing about it aside from it being horror and looked to be a western. The synopsis is a plains-woman faces the harshness and isolation of the untamed land in the Western frontier of the late 1800s.
We follow Lizzy Macklin (Caitlin Gerard). It kicks off with two men standing outside of a cabin. One is her husband, Isaac (Ashley Zukerman), and the other is Gideon Harper (Dylan McTee). She is covered in blood and has a baby in her arms. It didn’t survive. We then see that Gideon’s wife also didn’t make it. Her name is Emma (Julia Goldani Telles). She committed suicide while pregnant and Lizzy tried to save the baby.
Isaac informs her that Gideon is going to move back to town and he’s going to escort him. The film then presents to us the events that have led to Lizzy being the person she currently is and why Emma killed herself. This becomes a tale of is there a supernatural force on the plains that caused her to do what she did or is there something else has happened here?
Now I know this is a much shorter recap than I normally do. The reason is I don’t want to spoil anything and the information that is presented to us would definitely do that. This is really all about the acting and development of the characters. There is a point where we don’t know what is real and what’s not. The fear of what comes with the dark is also there. Lizzy does get visited by a reverend (Miles Anderson) during her isolation as well.
Something interesting about this film is that we are presented with is this a supernatural tale where a demon is tormenting not only Lizzy, but Emma as well or is this just the two women descending into madness? The setting really helps to build the mystery here. It is in the 1800s and before the Harpers move in, it is just the Macklins. They are in the middle of nowhere and it is rough life. Being the settler’s days, if you don’t make your way, they would die. The film does give a definitive ending, which I wasn’t the biggest fan of.
What I did find interesting is the pamphlet that both Lizzy and Emma read that is called ‘Demons of the Prairie”. What is seems to be is just someone just put all of the names of the demons and what they are supposed to do. There is a solid scene where Lizzy is caring for Emma while she is reciting the names of the demons and what they are the corrupter of. The one she says more than anything is the demon of jealousy. She also states the name of defiler of the marriage bed as well as the demon that brings locusts and drought. I like incorporating this aspect of religion to make us wonder if one of these demons is what is stalking them.
The film did have a bit of a pacing issue for me. It is interesting though as the film runs less than 90 minutes, but there was a stretch where they are giving us back-story that I found myself bored. I think the information we are being given was solid. It really establishes the characters, why they are the way that they currently are and what happens to them to get them there. It just didn’t build as much tension as I wanted. The film is definitely more atmospheric though.
Acting for the film was really good though. Gerard really carries this film and I thought she did a great job. What I liked about her at first, we see how hardened she has become living out here. We are given before that happens though and the events that got her there. We also don’t know if this entity is real or if there’s a demon that is doing all of this. Telles is interesting as well. Her and McTee are both not prepared for what happens, but seeing Telles as she descends into madness was creepy. Being that is she is losing it, it made me wonder what she was saying was real and what wasn’t. She is unreliable so that makes it difficult. Zukerman was solid as the husband who is trying to being the rock. Anderson also did a solid job in his small role.
Something I do have to give credit to this film as well was the effects. There are some practical ones that looked pretty solid to me. There isn’t a lot in the way of effects in general, but there the CGI ones didn’t bother me. They were pretty well done and were pretty creepy. There are some jump-scares in the film, which were actually well done also.
The soundtrack of the film did have some moments that helped to enhance the scenes. It didn’t mess around with the song that is being played over the credits. With what the first scene is and how creepy it is, it really did help to build that feeling. The rest of the score really didn’t stand out, but it never hurts or takes me out of the film.
Now with that said, this film did have some really good aspects. The setting is creepy and the idea of descending into madness or is there an evil entity that is corrupting them. The acting really carries this film in my opinion. I’m normally not the biggest fan when a film gives us a definite outcome, especially when this film presents us with two possibilities to what is happening. There are some slight pacing issues as well. The effects were pretty solid and I thought the soundtrack was too. It didn’t necessarily stick out, but there were a couple moments it did. Overall I’d say this film was in a crossover genre of horror/western we don’t get a lot of. I did think this was above average.
My Rating: 7 out of 10