23rd Aug2019

Frightfest 2019: ‘The Wind’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Dylan McTee, Ashley Zukerman | Written by Teresa Sutherland | Directed by Emma Tammi


Showing at this year’s Frightfest and being picked up by the Frightfest Presents label, The Wind has been well received at festivals across the globe. The last film I remember being based around the wind was The Happening, so The Wind doesn’t have much competition in those stakes.

The immediate impact The Wind had on me was that incredible score. It lead to this brief exchange with my partner after the first ten minutes or so of the movie:

My partner: “It’s a bit loud. I’ve got my headphones on and I can still hear it.”
Me: “But can you hear that score? I love it already. It’s amazing!”
My partner: “Just turn it down.”

I turned it down very slightly. And it didn’t stop me from appreciating the music for the rest of the movie. Composed by Ben Lovett, now a very experienced composer for horror films, I was not in the least bit surprised that he is the same guy that created the music for I Trapped The Devil (also showing at Frightfest 2019). The score for The Wind is harsh on the ears and haunting, comparative to recent hit Hereditary, and like in that movie, produces an atmosphere that just wouldn’t be there without it. I will be listening to this soundtrack again and again.

But what about the movie itself? Well, set in the 1800’s (although looking very similar in style to The VVitch, which was set in the 1630’s) The Wind is about a woman who believes some spirit or demon or something more real is haunting her land and death seems to surround her. Only her husband does not share her beliefs. She gradually becomes more and more on edge, and will not leave her house after dark. Her isolation and the dreary-looking area she lives only help the viewer to feel her anxieties and fear.

The woman, Lizzy, is played by Caitlin Gerard (Insidious: The Last Key) who puts in a great performance. Managing to portray the character as alone and vulnerable but still with a layer of toughness to her. She’s the centre of the movie and by far the most interesting character despite decent performances from the cast around her, including Julia Goldani Telles (The Slender Man) and Ashley Zuckerman (Fear The Walking Dead).

The Wind is a slow burn of a movie, there’s no obvious jump scares, it just relies on creating that atmosphere to produce fear and that works perfectly well. In fact, the occasional scene that goes down a more traditional horror route, are actually the least entertaining. Still good, but I much preferred the terrifying nature of Lizzy’s mind and the problems around her. It’s a great film about how people cope and react with difficult things in their lives.

Director Emma Tammi had previously directed two documentaries, making this an even more impressive debut fictional movie. Filled with that horrible but brilliant sense of dread, The Wind fits nicely alongside this new wave of horror that includes the likes of The Witch, Get Out and Hereditary.

**** 4/5

The Wind screened as part of this year Arrow Video Frightfest on Friday August 23rd 2019.


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