Movie Review: The Wind Does a lot of things Right but Falls Short

Lizzy (Caitlin Gerald) and Issac (Ashley Zuckerman) Macklin seek adventure, solitude and self-sufficiency as they begin their new lives in the western frontier. Life is hard but the two have each other which is seemingly all they need. Something strange begins to happen to Lizzy after she becomes pregnant. She begins to hear knocking on the door, candles being blown out and demonic fire lighting itself in the fireplace. When Lizzy loses the baby during delivery, she buries her bible with their unborn baby. Saying that little Samuel will use it far more then she will.

The Macklin’s try to pick up the pieces of their new life as they continue to persevere. One day Isaac comes back to the cabin and says that new neighbors have moved in about a mile away. Lizzy excited to no longer be alone in these open plains with the wind excitedly invites their new neighbors over for dinner. There’s something strange about Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and Gideon (Dylan McTee) Harper though. The Macklin’s state that if they were in the city, they would choose to remain strangers. The Harpers are also ill prepared for their new frontier life and seek help from the Macklin’s to get their cabin in order before the winter comes upon them.

Isaac and Lizzy use their strength to help get the new neighbor’s ready for winter. During the long hours they spend at the Harpers Lizzy notices that Emma seems too friendly with Isaac. One-night Gideon storms over to the Macklin home screaming that Emma is ill. Lizzy rushes over to check in on Emma. Emma is mumbling something as she lies under the bed in a fetal position. Lizzy listens closely and Emma is saying that someone is trying to take her baby away. When Lizzy asks if Emma is pregnant Emma responds yes.

Over the next few months, Emma slowly seems to be losing her mind and one night ends up with a shot gun shell to the face. This event seems to bring the evil of the plain’s demons to Lizzy’s front door. With Gideon and Isaac off to sell the cabin in town, Lizzy is left alone with the sound of the wind and the plains demon.

A western, a possession movie and a decent into madness. The Wind is a beautifully shot movie that shows potential for greatness. It portrays the untold story of women during this period. The unsung story from most westerns, what it is like on the frontier when the men left the women as they took off on an adventure across the plains. What was it like for them to fend for themselves with nothing but the wind. Unfortunately, the movie falls short due to pacing issues and unnecessary scenes that were meant to build suspense but lack the substance to keep the viewer engaged. When director Emma Tammi decides to turn on the horror she does so masterfully. The scenes in the movie that keep you on the edge of your seat are done to perfection and the mystery of the plains demons is intriguing and full of religious symbolism. This depth could be fun to explore with subsequent viewings. It is a letdown though that between these moments of terror and suspense there is a break neck back and forth between a distant past, a recent past and the present. During the scenes taking place in the present you are lulled you into a stupor and towards the end of the movie are left with little feelings for any of the characters when in retrospect, we had enough time to learn more. The run time of this movie is only 86 minutes but feels closer to 2 hours. There is a need a movie like this to build suspense but there isn’t enough love for any of the characters to keep me invested in whatever happens to them. Which leaves us wondering what this movie could have been. More importantly though is a genuine desire to see more from Emma Tammi in the future.

The movie is entertaining and if you have the patience and if you liked films like The VVitch, this movie might scratch that same itch. If you are looking for a cerebral historic horror this movie has enough to make it worth the price of admission. Otherwise, you’ll probably be put to sleep during the lulls which are far too often and lacked the intrigue of character development to keep you interested.

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