The Wind is a Western Horror movie that is a spiritual successor to The Witch. The harsh landscape and interpersonal paranoia are in the forefront of this tense thriller. We review the film and attempt to unravel the non-linear narrative to make sense of what actually happened to the four main characters.
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- Skip to Score – 20:18
- Skip to Spoilers – 23:59
- Skip to Final Recommendations – 1:06:27
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- Skip to It Came From Social Media – 1:12:19
- Skip to Outro – 1:25:21
The Wind Synopsis
The Wind is the first feature film for both the writer Teresa Sutherland, and the director Emma Tammi. It is a Western Horror film that tells the story of two young families living on harsh untamed Western frontier of the US in the 1800’s. Caitlin Gerard plays Lizzy Macklin, who with her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman) own a homestead on the windy, dusty plains. They are soon joined by a newlywed couple, Emma and Gideon Harper played by Julia Goldani Telles and Dylan McTee. The Harpers are out of their depth trying to survive in the unforgiving environment. Emma soon starts to show cracks in her psyche, and is driven mad by the pressure. When Lizzy starts to also experience some of the visions and unexplained phenomena described by Emma, she starts to question whether she is also going mad, or is it an actual evil presence seeking to destroy them?
Review of The Wind
Comparisons to the Witch are inevitable and apt with this movie. The harsh environment and the pressures of surviving off the land are basically a main character in both films. The trailer also makes comparisons to The Babadook. Being two of my favorite horror movies of the last decade, those comparisons made me set my expectations fairly high. The good news is that this film, for the most part, met my expectations.
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It is a simple story injected with convincing human drama and told artfully through a non-linear narrative that keeps you engaged and on the edge. Coming from a first time feature film screenwriter and director, it’s actually really impressive how all the moving parts worked so well. You’re fed bits of information piece by piece, which lets you assemble the puzzle of the story’s timeline. Just enough information is withheld throughout to make you question whether the cause of all the trouble is simply paranoia and madness, or if it is an actual demon. The tone is set early with the first scene featuring a dead baby, and the menace is maintained throughout the whole movie.
The score and sound design are excellent, and scared me as much as the visuals did.
The film relies on inter-relationship drama, and psychological horror more than jump scares, but those are represented as well. It never quite reaches the greatness of The Witch, but the same thematic elements are represented very similarly here.
Score for The Wind Movie
The Wind Horror Movie Spoilers
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Chronology of The Wind
Unraveling the timeline of the film is one of the engaging aspects of the film. Below I have to the best of my abilities tried to lay out the chronology of events in The Wind.
The first scene chronologically would actually be Lizzy being “haunted” alone in her own cabin. The wind knocks at door, blows out the candles, and generally terrifies Lizzy. All the while she is pregnant.
Next, Lizzy is comforted by Isaac and she gives the creepy eye to the camera.
Isaac sees that Lizzy has been reading the demons of the prairie book and burns it.
Isaac gives a shotgun to Lizzy to shoot demons
Macklins lose baby Samuel and bury him with the Bible.
The Harpers move in and the four of them all have dinner together. It is readily apparent that Emma and Gideon Harper do not get along well as newlyweds.
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Isaac makes good on his offer to lend Gideon some help and a plow. Emma has the hots for Isaac and seductively serves him some water.
Emma comes over in the rain and commiserates with Lizzy about how useless Gideon is as a homesteader.
Emma starts going crazy, hides under a bed and reveals to Lizzy that she’s pregnant. Lizzy drugs Emma and tells Gideon to tie her up.
Emma still tied to the bed recites demons to Lizzy, who then in turn tells Emma to calm down
Lizzy shoots Emma with the shotgun (in rain)
Lizzy goes home and sleeps, wakes up, throws up (in rain), takes medicine, falls asleep on some kind of bags.
Isaac and Gideon wake her on bags, and ask her to operate on Emma. Lizzy cuts out baby. This is actually the opening scene of the movie.
Lizzy is in the bath scrubbing to get Emma’s blood off her. Isaac comes in and lays down the shotgun and there is definitely tension in the air.
They bury Emma with her baby.
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Isaac and Gideon leave, Lizzy forgets that she shot Emma. Isaac off to get supplies and Gideon is going to sell and mve back home
As Lizzy is doing laundry alone, there is a wolf attack. When she comes out from the house, she finds a dead goat.
The next morning, Lizzy finds the goat alive and promptly shoots the goat. This kills the goat.
Lizzy goes over to Harpers, and a bunch of paranormal stuff happens. She reads Emma’s diary that says that Emma’s baby is Isaac’s. Lizzy immediately burns the pages and drugs herself to sleep with ether.
The Reverend arrives, and stays at the Harper’s empty house at Lizzy’s behest. The Reverend returns that night distraught, but is revealed to be a demon reverend. Lizzy is thrown around and haunted by the reverend and Emma.
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The next morning, she finds the dead reverend and her bible that she buried with Isaac is waiting for her at her door.
Lizzy goes outside, puts the shotgun in her mouth, but then Isaac returns before she commits suicide.
That night, Lizzy is tormented again as she is tied to the bed by Isaac. She unties herself and is thrown around the room and accidentally stabs herself with some scissors.
Lizzy stabs Isaac.
Is Lizzy Insane or Is She Actually Tormented by Demons?
From the interviews with the writer, it is obvious that the reason that she wrote the script was because of the stories that she was told about women going crazy from seclusion out on the plains in the old west.
The actress that plays Lizzy also mentions that she plays a woman that goes insane.
So it is relatively safe to say that the hauntings and demons that we see are merely hallucinations.
Final Recommendations for The Wind (2019)
I highly recommend this film. It’s a very well constructed film with a unique setting and plot. The acting is really good, and the sound design is exceptional. If you like psychological horror and crave more films like The Witch, this is worth a watch.