When I first saw a trailer for "The Wind", I was intrigued by the mix of the western and horror genres. While that mixture does indeed produce a tense, foreboding atmosphere where a great story is set up, the final act really lets all the air out of the balloon by providing an ending that is disappointing no matter which way one looks at it.
For a basic plot summary, "The Wind" tells the story of Lizzy Maclin (Caitlin Gerard), who lives with husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) on the untamed western U.S. prairie of the late 1800s. Their only neighbors for miles are Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and Gideon (Dylan McTee), and the two couples form a sort of uneasy truce with each other: they both "want their space" but at the same time are comforted that they are not completely alone. When both women begin to experience strange haunting-like scenarios (and blame demonic possession) and then a pregnancy-issue scenario accelerates the timetable, the isolated and windy open prairie may be as much to blame as anything else. Who knows what may reside in its theretofor uncharted depths.
All the setup and atmosphere in "The Wind" is actually very strong. It takes a non-linear approach to time (which really sucks the viewer into the proceedings) and despite being only about 90 minutes still manages to take its time and develop the characters. It is creepy in spots, thoughtful in others, and really sets up a scenario in which most viewers will be genuinely curious about how it will all shake out.
Only helping matters is Gerard, who pretty much steals the show here. If she is still a relative unknown now, that could change based on a performance like this. She is integral to nearly every scene and is the character viewers really empathize with. If "The Wind" would have been better overall, this could have been an award-winning acting job.
Unfortunately, the ending of this film is an enormous letdown. I don't mind the ambiguity of interpretation one bit (is it actually a demon or Lizzy's mind playing tricks on her?), but the cardinal sin here is that only one side of that coin is presented all along (i.e. the supposed "twist" doesn't work). The entire film, we are treated to a story in which it seems pretty straightforward what is happening (or at least could be happening). Then, the filmmakers pull a bait-and-switch by interjecting this "maybe she is just lonely/crazy" supposition right under the wire. Had this been a theme throughout it may have worked, but as it was it just felt like a way to end the flick when the writers didn't have a great plan to do so.
Thus, as much as I enjoyed the buildup, atmosphere, and acting in "The Wind", a better ending cold have upped my rating as much as two whole stars, I believe. Sadly, this ending feels tacked-on rather then anything really well thought-out. A missed opportunity, for sure.
Horror / Western
Horror / Western
A supernatural thriller set in the Western frontier of the late 1800s, The Wind stars Caitlin Gerard (INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY) as a plains-woman driven mad by the harshness and isolation of the untamed land. The film is directed by Emma Tammi,
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April 05, 2019 at 08:40 PM