Wind Walkers (2015)
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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.
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.
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.