Wind Walkers (2015) Poster

(2015)

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3/10
Muddled Mess Fudges the Horror
bournemouthbear23 September 2015
Wind Walkers (2015) A group of friends venture out into the remote Florida Everglades for their annual hunting trip. In doing so they have inadvertently upset the spirit realm and consequently become hunted by an ancient and rather grumpy curse in the form of 'wind walkers'. Our protagonists are soldiers, two of which have recently returned from combat abroad. Whatever it is that the duo have witnessed abroad has had a rather detrimental effect on one of them Sean Kotz (Zane Holtz). We know this because Sean is unable to give his girlfriend the quickie she is gagging for at the back of the store she works at. He is also taking medication for schizophrenia. Writer/director Russell Friedenberg also offers up the possibility that Sean may be possessed by the wind walkers. One thing is certain, Sean is pretty nifty at running and he does an awful lot of it throughout the film. Upon reaching the hut, that they intend to use as their base for the trip, we see a mighty mean storm kicking off however one flashback later and I was kind of wondering whether the storm had blown over and wondering what the point of including it momentarily was. Yes I 'get' the storm represents the spirits expressing their anger with the hunters so why didn't the wind walkers just keep the storm going so the hunt would get rained off and never happen? The group starts distrusting Sean. They question whether Sean 'brought' something back from his time away serving in the Middle East. It would appear so from the physical manifestation of the well-miffed entity. It's also rather difficult to keep with the plotting given that it kind of jumps all over the place with little in the way of logic almost as if someone else took over the writing without fully reading what had come before. Other critics have been rather generous with their reviewing of Wind Walkers. They readily admitting that the film's structure is muddled and weak but give it a good review without justification in their critique for actually doing so. I've come across situations like this before where reviews are amended to appease the film-makers or their marketing company. I can only think that a similar thing has happened here. It's great for getting punters to rent/buy/view the flick but it's under false pretences too. Heavy on mood but rather lacking in a coherent narrative Wind Walkers is one-note and confused. There's a little bit of Wolfen in the mix and its sense of paranoia mirrors John Carpenter's The Thing, even with a nod to the outburst about being tied up. Ultimately Wind Walkers offers little new and in offering up staid ideas it really needed something special elsewhere to make this worth sitting through. It doesn't.
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7/10
Solid acting with the blend of Native American folklore and current horror movie themes
gemandeye13 August 2018
While I see this movie getting trashed, unreservedly so, I have watched so many horrendous horror movies I don't even bother to review. However , this movie, part of the After Dark Horrorfest franchise, is a cut above your typical horror movies. Sure there were some flaws but overall a good horror flick / creature feature. It blended Native American folklore and current horror movie themes along with a psychological element . Good gore effects without going over the top to the gratuitous silly category.
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3/10
Borefest.
gothic-fiction3 December 2017
Many of the After Dark Horrorfest movies are not quite what we would expect. Some are really indie, others have horrible and cliché plots and of course some are complete snoozers.

Sadly, Wind Walkers is a rather boring experience, one that is hard to watch on one single try, and I for one failed it. It took me 3 days to manage to complete it, it was just the perfect movie to fall asleep in front of, only took around 20 minutes and I could barely keep my eyes open. I managed to finish it on my 3rd try by watching it during daytime and even then I had to shake my head a few times.

It is a slow, very slow burning horror, tries to emphasis too much on a state of confusion without delivering anything in the end. Close to no action, a typical movie once you realize what it's all about and has a great gift in offering sleep! I would never recommend it. Sorry.

Cheers!
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7/10
Spoilers follow ...
parry_na29 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Seven friends venture into the wilderness for a hunting trip. They are fairly dour bunch most of the time, which is something of a relief when one considers a young 'group of friends' are usually represented as permanently drunk/stoned/horny, obnoxious and arrogant. Their world, as represented here, is small-town Florida, full of local stores and local outskirt communities, gatherings, cheroots and respectable upbringings. Sonny (Glen Powell) is the only character who seems to have his own agenda.

As their collective hunt continues, it seems there is 'something' out there in the Everglades, leaving a slew of butchered animal cadavers in its wake. One of their number, wistful soldier Sean (Zane Holtz) remains troubled by his experiences during active service, and the sense of impending doom isn't exacerbated when his friend Matty's mother senses the 'call of the wind walker' through what appears to be the spirit of her son, who is currently missing.

I am no expert on Native American history or culture, but there are suggestions of a wendigo spirit, of a shaman, as well as a generous sprinkling of subtle gore. The threat seems to be deliberately vague anyway, which will frustrate some. A mix of 'The Thing (1982)' styled spiritual possession and cannibalism is skilfully scattered throughout the mystery – unfortunately laced with an unnecessary rock music score which often succeeds in undermining the mood – but it works for me, mostly. It is good, spooky, potent, slow-burning story-telling.

When Sean promises Lexi (Castille Lanon), "I can kill this," no-one is hugely confident because, whereas we meet several carriers of the virus itself, we witness nothing tangible controlling them. However, a hurried explosive climax delays – rather than destroys – the problem.

Intriguing rather than essential, a mixture of certain styles and inspirations rather than focused, this is a recommended horror.
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6/10
Better Than Expected
walkerfe2 August 2016
I'm trying to get around to watching all of the horror films that After Dark produced or distributed since their first Horrorfest. I've only watched a few so far, but Wind Walkers is the best one I've seen yet. It's not the most polished indie horror you'll ever see, and it's not very scary, but it has a good cast and tells a relatively original story.

I classify this as a PTSD horror movie. It's one of the films in a new wave of veteran stories whose subjects are young and were fighting in the Middle East in the last 10-20 years. The other most notable example I enjoyed was Pod, which I think is equal in quality to this film.

The main highlight of this movie for me was Glen Powell, who you may know as Chad Radwell from Scream Queens. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him in the cast as I began watching and surely would have watched this sooner had I known of his involvement! He's especially hilarious but also holds his own in tense and suspenseful scenes. Another good point was the sense of mystery surrounding the Wind Walkers and how it propelled the film forward.

On the negative side, some special effects were less than believable, but overall they kept them subtle so it was a minimal distraction. Also, no spoilers, but some of the reveals in the second half of the film felt underwhelming and ended up being disappointing. There is also a pretty awful intro/outro bookend that features a Native elder obviously reading in front of the camera. It just felt completely out of place, and the filmmakers should have come up with a better way to integrate the information that he conveys into the main plot.

After Dark is prone to distributing some underwhelming movies. While Wind Walkers occasionally falls into this camp, most of the time I found it enjoyable and worth the watch.
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