Monday, 5 October 2015

31 Days of Horror: Day Five- Wind Walkers

Note that there are potential spoilers for the PS4 game Until Dawn in the second paragraph so don't read it unless you've already completed the game or have zero interest in playing computer games and thus have no intention of playing it.

A U.S. solider returns home from captivity to find that his best friend and fellow former POW has gone AWOL. While out on an annual hunting trip with his friend's father and some extended family, their group comes under attack by an ancient Native American curse that has mysterious connections to his best friend's heritage and the prison in which they were once held captive - from IMDB.

This turned out to be my second encounter with Wendigos in the space of a month as I encountered them whilst playing the Playstation 4 game Until Dawn. Considering I destroyed all of them (I think) with six of the eight main characters dying (for those not in the know it is possible for all characters to survive) in the process the final result was pretty close but I think I just about claimed victory.

Horror is loose term to describe Wind Walkers whilst it has factors that means it can be defined as a horror film Wind Walkers is a film that is far away from the usual jump scare affair of recent times but still has many elements that define horror films, take for example the way the virus spreads from biting much like any Zombie movie from Dawn of the Dead to 28 Days Later. The film also has a degree of ambiguity over whether the virus is real or just very severe effects of PSTD. The virus was brought back from conflict and then affected those around the two men returning from duty, perhaps suggesting that PTSD is something that not affects the soldier but those around him.

Before this director Russell Friedenberg has directed two films, this is his first foray into horror and at its heart it certainly has some interesting ideas, particularly in his use of PTSD and white colonisation as the main themes. Style wise the film is excellent as Wind Walkers is a exquisite looking film as it's beautifully framed, shot and edited. However, it's really boring. There are many long shots that seem to drag on for more than is welcome, there are scenes that don't seem to add to anything and the film's story boarders on the incoherent. This means that the tension and paranoia between the main characters (one scene in the film actually reminded me of The Thing) wasn't that effective because the film just wasn't that engaging until this point where the film does eventually come as close to a horror film as it'll ever be.

Things aren't really helped by Zane Holts' rather bland performance in the central role, and whilst Wind Walkers is an aesthetically well made film (though the soundtrack is jarring and not in a good way) and clearly made by a crew with genuine talent it's a crying shame that it is let down by some rather boring storytelling.



  1. I find PTSD to be rather fascinating (and terrifying) so I wonder if I'll like this...and yet your review has me thinking this will be a miss for me as well.

    1. It's quite a small theme, the theme of white colonisation is probably bigger.

  2. Sounds interesting, but I think I might skip it based on one sentence - "However, it's really boring." Great review.

    1. If it wasn't boring, I'd be recommending it to everyone. It's well made apart from that fact it's a little dull.