Directed by Larry Fassenden
Written by Larry Fassenden
Starring Jake Weber, Patricia Clarkson, Erik Per Sullivan and John Speredakos
Jake Weber plays George who’s driving to upstate New York with his wife Kim (Patricia Clarkson) and son Miles (Malcolm in the Middle’s Erik Per Sullivan) for a winter vacation. Just before they reach their holiday home, they accidentally hit a deer which had darted in front of their car. With the car off road and stuck in snow, George calls for a tow truck to assist him, however the car is the least of his problems. A group of hunters emerge from the woodland, and one named Otis is more than displeased that George has struck and injured the deer which he and his friends had been stalking for several hours. Demanding to be compensated, Otis intimidates George who’s apologetic and who’s only wish is to be back on the road away from the hostile hunters.
George manages to get back on the road and arrives at their rented holiday home. The family use the break to get closer and enjoy time together after George’s job puts strain on the couple’s relationship, especially with their son. George and Patricia have concerns when Miles meets an ‘imaginary’ Native American Indian in the village store, who informs him about the Wendigo, a hungry spirit who devours anything in it’s wake, and can appear as part man, part deer and part tree. Miles is given a little wooden carving of the Wendigo by the mysterious Native American, which Miles carries with him at all times. Worried that Miles is feeling alone and alienated, Kim encourages George to spend some time with him by taking Miles sledging in the snow. As George and Miles play around in the crisp snow, it seems they aren’t alone…
Where should I start? Wendigo starts off with promise. A very uncomfortable scene where disgruntled hunters led by Otis, who clearly has issues, confront George who just wants to get out of the as quick as he possibly can. Standing near his family with a gun, Otis and the guys come across quite threatening and like anyone, you wouldn’t want to be around hostile people with guns as something bad is guaranteed to happen. So George and his family get off to a rough start.
After Miles visits the store and meets the Native American, it starts to get very interesting as we are told about this spirit called the Wendigo. They mythology of this spirit is gripping and I hoped there would be more detail and more instances of the Wendigo later on in the film. Whilst there are a couple of tiny references later on, it just wasn’t enough and to me was quite pointless that they introduced the Wendigo into the film in the first place. The ending of the story was plain to understand and whilst they try to link it in to the Wendigo, it just didn’t work. It made sense without the Wendigo being involved and it was always questionable whether Miles was just using the idea of the Wendigo to deal with the aspect of murder and death. So if you’re expecting a tale of spirits and such, look elsewhere, because you’ll be extremely deflated by the non-event of this film. Not wanting to ruin this ‘experience’, however, the Wendigo does make an appearance and the costume isn’t that bad. It was just the way they randomly inserted the spirit into this film where clearly it did not belong.
The acting was not bad but the script bored me to absolute tears. Hats of to Erik Per Sullivan who played the cute kid, Miles, and John Speredakos who played psychopathic Otis, who you wouldn’t want to bump into out in the sticks.
I was hoping for a great film, but I was left deflated, bored and with a headache. If I was you, I would give this film a wide berth. Maybe bury within some ancient Indian burial ground where it belongs.