The Movie Waffler Dublin International Film Festival 2019 Review - THE WIND | The Movie Waffler

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Dublin International Film Festival 2019 Review - THE WIND

the wind film review
In the desolate Old West, a woman is menaced by a supernatural presence.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Emma Tammi

Starring: Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Dylan McTee, Martin C Patterson, Ashley Zukerman

the wind film poster





From Billy the Kid Versus Dracula to Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, movies that blend the horror and western genres generally do so with their dry tongues planted firmly in their stubbly cheeks. It's refreshing then that director Emma Tammi has chosen to play both genres completely straight for her feature debut, The Wind, even if her film ultimately falls short.

the wind film review


In the late 19th century, young couple Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard) and Isaac Macklin (Ashley Zukerman) have dug out a little patch of land of their own in the American West. Their only neighbours are an even younger couple, Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and Gideon Harper (Dylan McTee), whose cabin lies a mile away across the frontier, visible as a small amber glow late at night.




While the two men are off working the land together, the women form a bond through their shared if unspoken loneliness. Without ever having either character directly tell us, Tammi creates the impression that neither Lizzy nor Emma are entirely content in their marriages, and both seem burdened with a deep psychological torment.

the wind film review


Following a tragedy, Lizzy finds herself left alone in her remote cabin for several days while the others ride off to town. At night she has only the wind and darkness for company, or does she? Lizzy grows increasingly paranoid that an unexplained presence is menacing her.




In its best moments - those involving Lizzy's growing terror in the face of her isolation - The Wind's economic but effective simplicity plays an entry in the BBC's '70s era Ghost Stories at Christmas series, relying heavily on a single central performance, clever lighting and audio design and a well-fashioned set. Gerard does a fine job of conveying her character's dread, whether prompted by supernatural occurrences or a more earthly existential longing. Cinematographer Lyn Moncrief uses the widescreen format to paint the ironic position Lizzy finds herself in, trapped in what seems like the most open plan piece of land in the world. "Why doesn't she just leave?" the cynic might ask. "Where would she go?" the film's unforgiving setting bluntly answers.

the wind film review


Where The Wind is let down is in its incessant use of prolonged flashbacks. The film is edited in a manner that keeps us guessing as to which point of the timeline we're currently watching, but it's a case of a storyteller's desire to be a bit too clever for their own good getting in the way of the audience's engagement with their story. Too many of these scenes exist to explain backstories in lazy dialogue scenes, rather than letting the viewer put two and two together themselves, and they too often become intrusive just when the core scenes of Lizzy alone in her cabin are beginning to get under our skin.

There's an effectively atmospheric 45 minute episode of a TV horror anthology that might be extracted from The Wind, but in its current state the flashback padding results in little more than a light bluster. Tammi does enough to hint at more rewarding horror work to come, but The Wind fails to register high on the BOO-fort scale.


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