The Windigo (2024)

The Windigo (2024)

Collective trauma wreaks havok in this Native American creature feature

6.0

Movie

United States of America
English, Ojibwa
Horror, Thriller
2024
GABE TORRES
Brian Krause, Casey Camp-Horinek, Fivel Stewart
85 min

TLDR

It’s certainly better than other stereotypical depictions, but one can’t help but wonder what it could have been with a bigger budget.

What it's about

With their grandmother with dementia now living alone, Native American siblings Ryan and Bree move to her house for the holidays. An encounter with backwoods meth dealers leads the family to resurrect an ancient demon for protection, however, they soon discover that the creature’s bloodlust can’t be controlled.

The take

With the success of Killers of the Flower Moon, there’s a renewed interest in authentic and respectful depictions of Native American stories. Low budget supernatural horror might not be the best approach, considering its history of stereotyping, but The Windigo is a fairly sincere stab at reframing the genre. The wicked looking, titular creature pulls together plenty of the issues Native Americans currently face, such as forgotten culture, violence, and institutional negligence, but the film also surprisingly delves into past collective trauma some of these communities have experienced. The Windigo plays out the way you would expect a creature feature to be, but the film could have been so much more with better execution.

What stands out

The cast feels a tad unbalanced, as Fivel Stewart has more charisma than Marco Fuller. In all honesty, both their characters are written thinly, but Stewart manages to inject more personality to Bree in her performance than Fuller does to Ry, and that gap is made more prominent because Ry is written to be more unlikeable than Bree.

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