“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” -Mother Teresa
A note of true terror rests within relatability. Relating to loneliness, feeling insignificant, especially in the eyes of those we trust most, in the hearts of those we thought cared for us. To lose that, or to learn you never really had it is a kind of emptiness that is wholly indescribable. Now add elements of spiritual upheaval and suddenly you have a scenario both rooted in truth but riddled with nightmarish impossibilities.
The Wind explores the greatest depths of being left alone as if invisible or disposable. It contemplates the ramifications of giving into one’s most basic inner thoughts no matter how ridiculous or outlandish they may be. It creates situations of ghostly interactions and melds them with hopelessness, with a fear of knowing that no hero is coming over the hill to rescue this lonely woman isolated with no one but us viewing such direness entirely through her unreliable eyes. It is a slow, but undeniably purposeful burn exploring rural, western living at its most unforgiving.
Much of this film is used to upend our understanding of what is real and what is a facade of something far more unfeasible but no less tangible. In her most ruined and delicate moments, sinister forces plague her with visions of the dead returned to life and fictional beasts come to screeching, terrifying reality. It would seem everything surrounding this lonesome woman is designed with her spiraling mentality in mind, hoping to further jettison her already deteriorating clarity into a state of utter hysteria. From the lack of vegetation or greenery of any kind in the rural miles isolating her from humanity to her horrific visions of distrust and betrayal it all lends a hand at making her already literal isolation feel all the more unbearable.
Caitlin Gerard stars as a plains-woman named Lizzy Macklin. As her husband goes off for work she is left alone to fend off the brutality of a unforgiving rural 1800’s America, virtually uninhabited by the living, but possibly infested with the otherwise. As she goes from each harrowing day to the next you see her behavior become something once understandable turned into something more aligned with self-abuse. She begins drugging herself to sleep, she cradles a rifle as if her only companion, and doubts the very vision she possesses. Once yearning for company, Lizzy maligns the thought of her new, highly disruptive, possibly sinister new neighbors.
The Wind has its more disturbing moments of visual horror but this is, at its core a psychological drama of what loneliness looks like combined with an unstable, ever-wandering imagination influenced by less than wholesome outside prodding. She was tired from the very beginning only to be thrown into a world where only her thoughts are present, not always a comforting thing.
This is an arthouse horror planted within the Western genre. When there is simply nothing to do beyond the daily grind of tending to a half alive farmland, what does a fragile mind become when left to its own devices? The Wind explores its themes with grace and calm, never giving into a childish desire to hurry things along or to reveal things before their proper time in the light. It is a slow build with moments of pure, explosive intensity all continually mudding the questionable state of this poor woman’s mental state. Give it time, allow it to unfold and you will be gifted with something highly unexpected but admittedly a bit confounding. Horror and the western appear to be a match made in Heaven, or Hell if you prefer.
Rated R For: violence/disturbing images, and some sexuality
Runtime: 86 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Horror, Western
Starring: Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman, Miles Anderson
Directed By: Emma Tammi
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below:
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