More Little House on the Prairie than The Last House on the Left.
The Wind is described by few as a mix of horror and western, two genres that can work great together, given the story is written well. Unfortunately, The Wind has a story that relies heavily on flashbacks, jump scares, and female characters who come across as cliche weaklings not fit for frontier life, which is odd given the film is written and directed by women (writer Teresa Sutherland and director Emma Tammi).
Life on the western frontier is tough, and no one knows it better than Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard), who is often left alone while her husband (Ashley Zukerman) goes off to do whatever frontier husbands did back then. Things are looking up, though, as new neighbours have moved in and Lizzy thinks it will be nice to have friends. However, it doesn’t take long to realize that the neighbours are an odd bunch, especially the wife Emma (Julia Goldani Telles), who becomes attracted to Lizzy’s husband, and starts to mentally break down from the stress of the frontier. Emma starts speaking of demons out to take her baby away. Lizzy is frightened as she too has had the same experiences. The husbands don’t see anything evil out there, so it could very well just be a case of mental stress doing in the women. They just aren’t cut out for the rough life, or so the movie wants you to believe.
The Wind had the potential to be a rather effective horror film if the screenplay decided to go all the way with the demon plot elements. Sadly, the film plays the supernatural parts close to its chest, never truly telling the viewer if what is happening is real. The movie relies heavily on flashbacks, bouncing back and forth between three different time points: the present, the recent past, and then even further back. Not saying this type of storytelling is bad, but there are times where you aren’t sure which part of the timeline you are watching. You have to rely on our main character either being pregnant (farther back past) or looking deeply depressed (present). It can get confusing and even worse, boring.
At least The Wind looks nice, and first-time director Emma Tammi should be applauded for producing a dreary, yet beautiful look at the frontier. Also, the acting from our limited cast is good, even if the script isn’t engaging enough. There is some good to be found in The Wind, but sadly the script doesn’t go far enough with the supernatural horror elements, comes across cliche, and is for the most part dull. All of this means I can’t fully recommend The Wind.