“I don’t know about you, but I am beyond thankful that I live in our current day and age. I think about living in a land before electricity and outdoor plumbing and that alone freaks me out. Then there’s a film like Emma Tammi’s The Wind that further cements my adoration for the 21st century despite the glaring amount of negative aspects.
The Wind takes place out in the Old West, in the prairie. A young couple, Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard) and Isaac Macklin (Ashley Zukerman) are homesteading. They are the only people for miles and miles AND miles. Suddenly, a new young couple comes to what can’t really be described as a town. Emma (Julia Goldani Telles) and Gideon Harper (Dylan McTee) move into the only other house in their area, which essentially forces the two couples to associate with each other.
“Both girls see things that aren’t there. Both men don’t believe the women’s visions to be true.
At first, the two couples get along pretty well, but then Emma starts acting strangely right before she becomes pregnant. Lizzy had been pregnant not too long ago but the baby was stillborn. Lizzy does appear to have some grief over the fact that Emma is with child, and at that point is where things start to go a little off-the-rails. Or is it? The film’s narrative is mostly told through flashbacks. It turns out that Lizzy was not doing that well mentally and emotionally before her pregnancy as well. Both girls see things that aren’t there. Both men don’t believe the women’s visions to be true.
The Wind does have a few jump scares, but mostly the horror is one that the viewer feels. If you put yourself in the position of these characters, living out in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated, you’re probably going to feel a bit restless and stir-crazy. The film could be described as The Shining on a prairie homestead instead of a homebound hotel. There’s question of whether there are demons of the metaphysical variety or simply the demons we carry from our past and are these the same things?
“…definitely warrants more than one viewing. There are a lot of subtle hints…”
I feel as though The Wind definitely warrants more than one viewing. There are a lot of subtle hints as to what is truly happening; what’s real and what’s not, but ultimately I wasn’t entirely sure at the end of the film, but that was something I appreciated. The score by Ben Lovett is quietly creepy, which is entirely appropriate. The script by Teresa Sutherland has a lot of feminist subtext about postpartum depression, “hysteria,” and the grief of losing a child. It’s super impressive to me that this film is written, directed, and edited by women (Teresa Sutherland, Emma Tammi, and Alexandra Amick respectively). It’s rare for three of the biggest jobs in a film to go to women, and also for that film to have a female lead.
The Wind has theatrical distribution through IFC Midnight which almost 100% guaranteed the film would be worth watching before I even pressed play. I’m glad to say this film was not an exception to that rule. If you like quiet, meditative supernatural thrillers, you will ultimately enjoy The Wind quite a bit. Please look out for my interview with director Emma Tammi coming soon.
The Wind (2019) Directed by Emma Tammi. Written by Teresa Sutherland. Starring Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman, Dylan McTee, Martin C. Patterson, Miles Anderson.
7 out of 10 stars