By Kate Boyle
Female filmmakers have made names for themselves in most genres of film. Two areas they seem to be less common are in horror and westerns. “The Wind” (2018) is both a horror and a western and is directed and written by women; Emma Tammi and Teresa Sutherland. “The Wind” is a “slow-burn” psychological horror and is Emma Tammi’s first feature film. It’s set in the late 1800s out in the sparsely populated frontier where isolation and/or supernatural forces prey on its residents.
The film focuses on the story of Lizzy Macklin, portrayed by Caitlin Gerard, who is left alone for a period of time while her husband has to travel into town. They live in an area where their closest neighbors are a mile away and real help is much farther. The movie is also told in a series of flashbacks, jumping back and forth between “the present” and past events that lead to Lizzy’s current state of mind. Watching the film, you never know if the danger is something real or something in Lizzy’s head.
“The Wind” is one of those films that may take more than one viewing before you entirely understand the story. It took me a few minutes until I got that it was bouncing back and forth between past and present. I like horror films that take a while to get going, I think they generally make for a better scare at the end, but this film seemed a bit of a mess. I’ve watched it twice and I still don’t entirely understand who the antagonist was. The weakest part of this film is the conclusion and the villain.
“The Wind” is worth checking out if you like the slow-burn style horror flicks. It is a “pay attention” movie, so make sure you have time to sit down and watch the entire thing”
They make a point to declare there might be a supernatural element tormenting Lizzy as well as her mind playing tricks on her, but they don’t give it enough description or background to make sense. The idea of supernatural versus psychological danger was an interesting choice, and I think if it had been handled differently it would have made for a fantastic film. “The Wind” had a lot of potential, but fell short in areas of its storytelling.
Other than a few issues with the antagonist, I have no complaints. I enjoyed the other aspects film. The frontier setting was a perfect choice to stage a psychological horror. Caitlin Gerard does a fantastic job showing how isolation can get to a person, mess with their minds, even with the sparse dialogue. The supporting characters are mostly forgettable save for Lizzy’s neighbor Emma Harper, played by Julia Goldani Telles.
The introduction of new neighbors adds tension when you think it would do the opposite for characters living alone in the middle of nowhere. I believe having both a female director and writer is what allowed this movie to succeed where it does, with its main character and their internal struggle. I don’t think a male director or writer would have been able to tell that kind of story from a female lead character’s perspective.
Overall, “The Wind” is worth checking out if you like the slow-burn style horror flicks. It is a “pay attention” movie, so make sure you have time to sit down and watch the entire thing. There are plenty of good elements in the film, the acting, the music, the setting, etc. I think it’s a decent first film for director Emma Tammi and I look forward to seeing what she does in the future.