The Wind whispers psychological terror and dread.
The Wind is a psychological gothic horror movie with supernatural elements that might be or might not be real. It’s a very intimate tale about loneliness, isolation and a hard and rough way of life. Both the psychological elements and the supernatural elements are very subtle and because the story is told in a non-chronological way, it can be confusing at times what really is going on.
The focus is therefore on the internal experience of the main character Lizzy. It’s told from her perspective and with flashbacks at the right times, the audience is shown more background information about what is happening now, to keep the story intriguing and mysterious. The Wind is a slow burn that will speak to a certain audience that appreciates a subtle style, reading between the lines and a foreboding atmosphere.
Lizzy and her husband Isaac live on the prairie in complete isolation from civilization. The only other house is at about 1,5 miles from their house and currently empty. But things change when the younger Emma and her husband Gideon move in from the city and are totally unfamiliar with the way of living on the prairie and not self sufficient at all.
Things were hard at best, but now Lizzy and Isaac have to help their new neighbors settling in, and who constantly need their help. When Emma shoots herself when she’s pregnant after she said she heard and saw something out there, demons of the prairie, Lizzy tries to save the baby, but fails. When Lizzy is left alone while Isaac and Gideon go to town to report the deaths, these demons come out to torment her.
Why you should watch it
The Wind is a slow tale of isolation and the madness that comes with it. Through flashbacks we learn that life wasn’t easy, that Lizzy had her ordeals of her own. It’s a tale about metaphorical demons that are bound to come out when there’s no distraction, when two people are totally dependent of each other which can strengthen their bond, maybe too much, and when life is hard and unforgiving.
It’s a parable about freeing those demons who want to come out, demons that are our own flaws and sins. But it is never clear whether those demons belonging to the prairie are in fact also real or not. Whether they cause a prairie fever, just like the real fever Lizzy got when Isaac was gone. While shot from Lizzy’s perspective, we only see what she experiences, not what is really going on. Even the final twist is shot with a style that feels incoherent and not totally sane.
This ambiguity and the structure together create a compelling and intriguing story. The flashbacks are meticulously planned to show just what the audience needs to know at that particular time, just that event that Lizzy herself remembers, to elaborate the current event. Each flashback holds a piece of the puzzle, but we only get to know Lizzy better, but not whether there are supernatural entities at work or if it all plays out in her head. That can be cringing for those who need closure. But just like Lizzy they never get a real answer.
This daring choice of structure and ambiguity makes this tale a well-crafted one that misleads and makes you feel uncomfortable just like Lizzy. While she thinks she hears and sees something and thinks there’s something out there, Isaac answers that there’s nothing but the wind. A relentless wind that seems to be always present like Emma remarks. It’s not that there’s nothing out there to fear, but that there’s the ever whispering wind that reminds you of that there is indeed nothing there. And that might be the real horror and terror that can drive one insane. There’s nothing but her and Isaac, and the new neighbors. And when there’s nothing but them, everything is being magnified. All the good parts, but also all the bad parts, slumbering thoughts and primal fears.
The Wind is a relentless tale that is shot in a beautiful way with wonderful angles that create an ominous vibe. While there are some jump scares, most of the horror is very intimate and relies on sowing doubt and confusion. With creepy shadows that lurk in the house, with claws and talons, hallucinations and a great music score, it results in an alluring tale within an unconventional setting that is told through a woman’s eyes, in front of and behind the camera. It’s the spellbinding performance of Caitlin Gerard that really reels you in.
My favorite part
The scene when the Reverend knocks on her door is a very intriguing scene. It creates a wonderful creepy vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable and ever at your guard. What really happened that night is never revealed and that makes it all the more scary and elusive. Maybe there is something out there on the prairie, something that makes you go insane, something that helps the prairie fever turn into something much more sinister.
Thrill factor: ★★★★☆
Drama factor: ★★★★☆
Surreal factor: ★★★☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
The Wind is directed by Emma Tammi and written by Teresa Sutherland. It stars Caitlin Gerard (Lizzy Macklin), Ashley Zukerman (Isaac Macklin), Julia Goldani Telles (Emma Harper), Dylan McTee (Gideon Harper) and Miles Anderson (The Reverend).
Duration: 86 minutes. Music: Ben Lovett. Cinematography: Lyn Moncrief. Edited by: Alexandra Amick. Produced by: Christopher Alender, David Grove Churchill Viste. Production companies: Divide/Conquer, Soapbox Films. Distributed by: IFC Midnight.