The Wind is a stylish feast from director Emma Tammi and writer Teresa Sutherland. It’s prairie-Gothic style makes for a refreshingly new kind of horror aesthetic, though the ultimate twist at the end of the movie was a bit of a let-down. Overall an excellent experience, though! (GPG: 3.5/5)
Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto
The Winds is set in motion when farmer couple Lizzy and Isaac find that some new neighbors have just moved into town. The arrival of another couple, Emma and Gideon, brings the population of Lizzy and Isaac’s neck of the woods up from 2, to 4. Thus begins Emma Tammi’s foray into the new (to my knowledge) genre of prairie gothic horror! The tone of The Winds is what can only be described as haunting, in the way only a prairie’s endless expanses of grass can be. As a Midwesterner, I’ve always been well acquainted with the unsettling quality of an uninterrupted horizon; The Winds gives perfect expression a feeling that is similar to being on a boat with no land in sight. It is on this vast and empty plain that the demons of The Winds roam.
Since Emma and Gideon are new to farming, they offer to help Lizzy and Isaac find their feet as they set up their homestead; the new couple soon reveals exactly how little they know about surviving out on the prairie. While Emma and Lizzy appear to be very different, it turns out they have more than a little in common—namely a horrific supernatural incident that happened to Lizzy when she and Isaac first started up their farm, and which appears to be happening to Lizzy as well. It’s at this point in the movie that one of my favorite production design touches appears: a pamphlet entitled “Demons of the Prairie” which lists all the lords of Hell and features a cover whose figure promises to become familiar to views of The Wind.
When I say that I feel The Wind presents a new genre of horror, I mean more that it marries the horror genre to the wild west thriller. Rather than cowboys killing each other, the humans in this movie are being hunted by demons the nature of whom is not altogether clear, but the lonesomeness that one feels at a campfire alone in the middle of the woods is present in this film in much the same way. Aside from being what critics often call a visual feast where production design is concerned, The Wind communicates the feeling of total emptiness surrounding all its characters; the fear of what could lurk in this emptiness is the root of the anxiety it explores.
Without giving any spoilers, I simply thought that the twist at the end made what happened in the rest of the movie a little less interesting. If you see it and disagree, sound off in the comments! The film is definitely still worth checking out for yourself.
Q: Does The Wind pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?
Yes! Lizzy and Emma talk together often, and though they often talk about men they also often talk about demons, giving them a pass for the Bechdel-Wallace test.
Top Photo: Lizzy after the events of The Wind.
Middle Photo: Lizzy gazes across the prairie.
Bottom Photo: Lizzy stares down what could be a demon.
Photo Credit: Soapbox Films