Wind Walkers Movie Review
Written by Danni Preston
Released by Tricoast UK
Written and directed by Russell Friedenberg
2015, 93 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 21st September 2015
Glen Powell as Sonny Childe
Rudy Youngblood as Matty Kingston
Zane Holtz as Sean Kotz
Johnny Sequoyah as Willow Samuelson
J. LaRose as Neelis Kingston
Phil Burke as Kelly Sturgis
A group of ex-army friends head out to the wilderness on an annual hunting trip. One by one the group disappears into the forest. Stranded due to an eerie storm the hunters become the hunted.
I watched this film three times and it lacks originality. The plot is primarily genre confused; zombies, cannibalism, war stories, native folklore. The scares are predictable and expected from the start. The Native American monologues at the beginning and end of the film are there to give the story depth and an authentic feel, but are actually disconnected and lack gravitas.
Typically the group becomes stranded due to a storm on the mainland. Unconvincing bonding happens the evening they arrive; drinking, cards and the weirdest overdubbed laughing scene I have ever seen evokes a “drunken country boy” stereotype. When daylight breaks, the group goes hunting. As the group split up our main character, Kotz, played by Zane Holtz, witnesses one of his hunting mates vanish into the dense woodland canopy. The story then unravels, making it hard to follow. The narrative doesn’t flow the way you would expect a good horror film to. Too many different, uneventful things going on and a love story entwined within the film is completely unnecessary. I cannot remember a good horror film that focused so much on the romantic relationship between two characters. The female lead, and only female in the film for longer than 5 minutes, played by Castille Landon seems to have been thrown in there to make sure there sexist card couldn't be used. The role is an overplayed damsel in distress which the film did not need. Wind Walkers may have benefited from the added female dynamic, but the poor acting and inexplicable plot cancel out that benefit.
The horror genre needs to be classic and terrifying. It needs to focus on one thing and make it the most intense, terrifying experience for the viewer. I found myself pressing pause numerous times trying to figure out which character was where, how they got there, who was an ally etc.
The atmosphere of Wind Walkers never reaches the intense, edge of your seat feeling that I think director Russell Friedenberg wanted. The acting is wooden at times and the so-called friends on the trip never really seem to have any loyalty to each other. Similar “hunted in the forest” films, like Cabin the Woods or Evil Dead have the friendship as a big part of story, which Wind Walkers could have utilised to convey more depth.
Overall, the film had a lot of potential but tries to fit in too many genres, making it confused and uninteresting. The predictable jump scares made the film more clichéd than scary and unfortunately I lost interest.