IFC Midnight | Release Date: April 5, 2019
6.7
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Generally favorable reviews based on 10 Ratings
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5
JLuis_001Apr 23, 2019
This new wave of artsy horror films is stalling a bit because they are trying to be more allegorical than literal. And although I'm one of those who favors more what's implied than what it's shown, it doesn't work much when you're notThis new wave of artsy horror films is stalling a bit because they are trying to be more allegorical than literal. And although I'm one of those who favors more what's implied than what it's shown, it doesn't work much when you're not building a more effective horror story and that's what in the end ends up undermining the whole film in general. Especially because there are very boring lapses and also because towards the ending, it fails to live up to what it promised at first. Expand
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8
Bertaut1Apr 10, 2019
Very well made and genuinely creepy socio-political allegory

The Wind is ostensibly a horror movie about a woman being terrorised by a demon on the American frontier. Or is it a study of prairie madness? Or is it a metaphorical examination
Very well made and genuinely creepy socio-political allegory

The Wind is ostensibly a horror movie about a woman being terrorised by a demon on the American frontier. Or is it a study of prairie madness? Or is it a metaphorical examination of the mindset of a less enlightened time? A fiercely feminist appropriation of that most masculine of genres - the western - it deals with traditionally gendered themes such as frontier domesticity and postpartum depression, remaining always within the genre's paradigms, even whilst challenging many of that genre's most fundamental tropes. Beak and pared back, it's one of those films whose lack of budget works in its favour. A slow-burner that relies on shadows and sound effects, it's built on atmosphere, tone, and escalating psychological dread. The debut film from director Emma Tammi, the film is adapted by Teresa Sutherland from Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 novel. Set somewhere on the New Mexican frontier in the late 19th century, it is structured achronologically, and tells the story of Lizzy Macklin (Caitlin Gerard), who lives with her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) in an isolated cabin on the prairie, from which he is absent for weeks at a time. As the film intercuts the present with the past, it reveals that another couple - Gideon (Dylan McTee) and Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) - purchased the only other cabin within walking distance. However, after Emma got pregnant, she became convinced an evil entity was stalking her. Meanwhile, in the present, Lizzy begins to feel that that same entity is now haunting her. But is she correct, or is she suffering from the same delusion as Emma?

The Wind hits the ground running with a downright ballsy dialogue-free opening scene. With the as yet unintroduced Isaac and Gideon standing outside the Macklin cabin, Lizzy emerges, her white dress soaked in blood, carrying the lifeless body of a newborn baby. Shot by Lyn Moncrief using an extremely cold colour palette of muted blues and whites, the red of the blood really pops, driving home the visceral (and all too real) horror of whatever has just happened.

This scene occurs at roughly the mid-way point of the story, as the film uses a non-linear narrative structure, out of which Tammi gets a lot of mileage, forcing the audience to question the order and significance of seemingly inconsequential events. The fact that we are often uncertain as to exactly where we are in the timeline also mirrors Lizzy's own uncertainty regarding what's happening to Emma, and ultimately, what's happening to herself.

From an aesthetic point of view, as the film progresses, and we get deeper and deeper into Lizzy's psychosis/haunting, Moncrief shoots the initially vast-open plains in such a way as to become increasingly claustrophobic - there are more scenes at night; there are fewer high-elevation shots; the skies become more oppressive; there are more tightly-framed interiors. So although the characters are out in the open, they are very much imprisoned by their environment.

Especially important in the film's atmosphere is Juan Campos's exceptional sound design, as gunshots, slammed doors, and screams deafeningly pierce the silence without warning. Particularly of note is the sound of the wind itself, which is normal enough to be recognisable, but unusual enough to be unsettling; is that a voice drifting across the plains, or is it a trick of the senses? This works in tandem with Moncrief's excellent use of shadows to suggest a horror that's always just slightly off-camera. Is there literally a demon stalking Lizzy, or has the stress of isolation pushed her over the edge into psychosis?

Tammi's main thematic preoccupation is a metaphorical examination of a pre-#MeToo era and its concomitant mindset - a powerful monster targets a vulnerable woman, terrorising her with impunity, whilst the man in her life doesn't believe her. The film very clearly shows that Lizzy suffers almost as much from the fact that Isaac doesn't believe her as she does from her conviction in the presence of the demon. That the film is a feminised appropriation of the western mythos serves to drive home the allegorical nature of the story. Lizzy is, on the surface, a stock character - "the wife", the one who looks after the home whilst the men are out doing manly things. So the fact that she may be mentally ill is not something about which Isaac concerns himself; mental illness or not, her role is to maintain the home. And the crucial point here is that Isaac isn't a bad husband; he's just very much of his era.

The Wind is an extremely impressive horror-western. But it's an even more impressive study of isolation and (possible) psychological disintegration. Genuinely creepy in places, Tammi and her crew have created an exceptionally well-crafted film rich in feminist connotations all the while remaining faithful to a genre not known for its nuanced depictions of women.
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6
qbaseApr 26, 2019
Η Λίζι, μια σκληρή και έξυπνη γυναίκα ζεί σε μια απομακρυσμένη περιοχή στα Αμερικανικά σύνορα τον 19ο αιώνα. Απομονωμένη από τον πολιτισμό αρχίζει να αισθάνεται μια απειλητική παρουσία η οποία φαίνεται να γεννιέται από την ίδια τη γη, αλλά οΗ Λίζι, μια σκληρή και έξυπνη γυναίκα ζεί σε μια απομακρυσμένη περιοχή στα Αμερικανικά σύνορα τον 19ο αιώνα. Απομονωμένη από τον πολιτισμό αρχίζει να αισθάνεται μια απειλητική παρουσία η οποία φαίνεται να γεννιέται από την ίδια τη γη, αλλά ο σύζυγός της θεωρεί ότι αυτό είναι απλά μια δεισιδαιμονία. Όταν ένα νεόνυμφο ζευγάρι φτάνει σε κοντινή κατοικία, η παρουσία τους ενισχύει τους φόβους της Λίζι και μια συγκλονιστική αλυσίδα γεγονότων ξεκινάει.. Expand
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9
zaraedly21Jun 1, 2019
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