Written, Directed and Edited by Larry Fessenden, WENDIGO (2001) is a very unusual movie, in that it feels very full of portent, out of control, and uneasy. Most of all uneasy. The title would have you gearing up for something else, but what you ultimately get is something thst is less and more, something subtle, yet forboding.
It will leave you, depending on the type of person you are when you come to it, both enthralled by the story, and leary of following the story to its conclusion.
Go into this 17 year old film ( hard to believe 2001 is almost 17 years ago) knowing as little as possible, nothing beyond the title, don’t even watch the trailer, and it will reward you with a film that will linger, long after the credits roll.
A recommended film. Grade B+.
For this comparison I’ve left out vampire, zombie, werewolf and ghost/possession films, concentrating on the more niche sub-genre’s that make up horror movies.
EASE OF SEARCHING: Amazon wins. You can type in a generic term and Amazon will search for it. Netflix’s app by default just searches by title
RATINGS: Netflix previously did helpful star ratings, but since has replaced it with utterly useless percentage rankings. Netflix desperately needs to go back to star ratings and IMDB scores on films. Amazon is the clear winner here, offering usually pretty spot on ratings to help you locate your next obscure or recent find.
TRAILERS: Netflix except in a few cases, with mostly their produced content, does not offer trailers. And the few they do offer take multiple clicks to locate and play. I love watching trailers, they can save you a lot of time by, along with the rating, quickly helping you determine if a movie (or show) is worth your time. Another HUGE fail for Netflix, and big win for Amazon Prime.
A ‘VIEWERS ALSO WATCHED’ OPTION – Again it helps emulate the video store dynamic, by putting on your radar options and selections you otherwise would not have thought of. I spend probably 4 times longer on the Amazon app, because it offers this rabbit hole feature. One selection, leading to another, leading to another.
Also while I liked the anime, beyond a point I found it a bit long in the tooth, and all the characters while intriguing not exactly.. gripping. With the live action Wingard gets to flesh out the characters with really talented actors.
Nat Wolff’s Light Turner imbuing the relatively cold and calculating character of the anime, with a humanity and likability and relate-ability that makes you care. It is a fitting change to make, and it is a strength of Wingard’s recent films such as THE GUEST, to give us characters who, like most of us, are somewhere between sinner and saint. Shea Whigham is always compelling, and brings to the role of James Turner, Light’s Dad, a warmth and strength and conviction, and nearly palpable love for his son, that is lacking in the anime.
Lakeith Stanfield, the actor who plays the quirky, candy loving, ‘L’ for my money makes that character even more compelling and interesting than in the anime. It is an inspired bit of casting and his performance largely steals the show.
And speaking of genius casting, Dafoe’s voice as Ryuk… GENIUS.
Where I review books that aren't new.
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” - E. Gilbert
A film fan who loves to write, talk and promote filmmakers
Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss