“A plains-woman faces the harshness and isolation of the untamed land in the Western frontier of the late 1800s.”

Director: Emma Tammi
Writer: Teresa Sutherland
Staring: Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman, Dylan McTee
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Streaming: Netflix

Isolation can be a dangerous thing and that is what The Wind (2018) illustrates. Lizzy Macklin, played by Caitlin Gerard (who looks remarkably like Blake Lively), has to battle the madness of demons and self doubt in the winds of the turbulent wild west. She is often left alone without her husband Isaac (Ashley Zukerman), and the introduction of new neighbors puts undo weight and leads to unexpected events that anchor down Lizzy.

The strongest part of The Wind is the atmosphere and landscape of the movie. The desolation, the isolation, the emptiness. Everything about the wild west is terrifying and the mile walk between neighbors seems like a marathon with the terrors Lizzy encounters. The blank canvas going out in every direction acts like a vice grip, creating a sense of claustrophobia even when nothing is around.

Emma Tammi directed The Wind and its her first major motion fiction work. She does have a directing credit for the podcast The Left RIght Game and if it is anything like the horror and terror genre that she is infused here, then I may have to check it out. It was impressive to see what Tammi created with a small space and a small cast. It’s a short story but its theme is large and she does a good job of spotlighting that often frightening idea of being a small fish in a big pond.

The Wind also needs to rely heavily on the performance of Gerard as Lizzy. She has the most alone time in the movie and she does a remarkable job keeping the audience engaged when her enemies are just shadows for the majority of the movie. She starts out with the confidence that nothing elemental is happening, and by the end its the confidence that she has to confront it head on. It is a tragic confidence because it results in distress and a oh-so unpleasant ending that I love so much.

Also crazy thing about Gerard is that while she is primarily a horror actress now, she did have one crazy appearance in the movie Magic Mike (2012). Gerard played Kim, the young bride-to-be that Mike (Channing Tatum) and Adam (Alex Pettyfer) visit as police officers. Just a super small world and a role that I never thought I would look up and encounter with.

In terms of negative aspects in The Wind, I only have one nitpick. When the reverend comes back to Lizzy at night in a panic, it is obvious that something is afoot. It is far too convenient of a plot point for a relatively abstract movie, so alarm bells are going off. The demon lets its identity known to Lizzie a bit too early for the threatening atmosphere to really choke you. A classic slip-of-the tongue (though through the context it seems purposeful by the demon) is a classic “oh damn” moment but the uneasiness rubber doesn’t meet the road.

The Wind reminds me how much I really enjoy the Western Horror genre. Bone Tomahawk (2015) is the best I have seen, but now I need to delve deeper into the genre.

In the end, The Wind is a well crafted psychological thriller that uses solid-enough performances and an above-average sense of space and atmosphere to rise above the rim of median.

STANKO RATING: B- (3.0/5 Stars)

Stanko Excel Lists | Movies, Books, Podcasts. TV Shows
Stanko Letterdbox Account

“Stanko’s Stance” Podcast Feed (Apple)
“Stanko’s Stance” Podcast Feed (Spotify)

NFL Championship Round Picks

Divisional Round Recap Straight Up: 1-3-0Against The Spread: 2-2-0Mortal Lock: 0-1-0 (Tennessee -4.0) Sunday, January 23 Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.0) Straight Up: Kansas City Chiefs*Against The Spread: Cincinnati Bengals (+7.0)* *Mortal Lock* San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) Straight Up: San FranciscoAgainst The Spread: San Francisco (+3.5) Last Week Divisional […]

“Cry Wolf” | Comforting Mid-2000s Horror Sleaziness

“Eight unsuspecting high school seniors at a posh boarding school, who delight themselves on playing games of lies, come face-to-face with terror and learn that nobody believes a liar – even when they’re telling the truth.” Director: Jeff WadlowWriter: Jeff Wadlow, Beau BaumanStaring: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary ColeRelease Date: […]

“The Eyes Of Tammy Faye” | Chastain Carries Story Of Greed

“An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.” Director: Michael ShowalterWriters: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Abe SylviaStaring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’OnofrioRelease Date: September 17, 2021 This is the story of Tammy Faye Bakker and her husband Jim Bakker. Together these two religious personalities came […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s