Wendigo (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: An artsy horror flick, Wendigo effectively creates an eerie atmosphere.


Movie Info

On a snow-covered road in the woods of upstate New York, Manhattanites George and Kim, and their eight-year-old son Miles, drive to the country house where they'll spend a much-needed weekend vacation. Suddenly, their car hits a deer, leading the shaken family to a terrifying encounter with the leader of a posse of local hunters that had been pursuing the animal. Miles witnesses the angry hunter's "mercy killing" of the wounded stag though his parents do their best to protect him. As they settle … More

Rating: R (for a strong sex scene, language and violent images)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Larry Fessenden
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 17, 2002
Runtime:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site

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Cast


as George

as Everett

as Little Otis

as Mechanic

as Store Owner

as Wendigo
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Critic Reviews for Wendigo

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (18)

A finely tuned mood piece, a model of menacing atmosphere.

Full Review… | December 16, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

... a post-modern pop scare show that doesn't quite work.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

This film is only scary if you're afraid of artfully self-conscious, grainy cinematography.

May 10, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The woods haven't been this creepy since The Blair Witch Project.

Full Review… | March 28, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Fessenden ... sets a chilling tone of anticipation that keeps you inching forward, a scene at a time, until you're on the edge of your seat.

March 28, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A mostly intelligent, engrossing and psychologically resonant suspenser.

March 19, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wendigo

This film starts off quite well and has moments of real thrills but unfortunately loses its way in the second half. Shame really as Clarkson, Weber and a young Erik Per Sullivan do a great job as the terrorised family. This film could have been a classic thriller but Fessenden is a far better director than he is an editor and ultimately lets the side down. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers had a hand in its downfall too!

SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

½

Okay, let's say you're a deeply pretentious filmmaker with a shoestring budget and you want to do a movie about a family and a deer monster. You still following me? Good. Now, what's the best way to produce your "German expressionist horror film" while aptly disguising your lack of funding and lack of talent at the same time?

a) Learn more about human interaction and how to write natural-sounding dialogue and characters
b) Learn more about the process of capturing an aesthetically appealing image on camera
c) use freak-ass editing and shitty looking jump shots and reiterate over and over through repetitive scenes that THIS FAMILY HAS PROBLEMS BUT IT'S OKAY THEY LOVE EACH OTHER.

Three guesses as to which option Larry Fessenden picked. By the way, Fessenden is clearly the biggest tool ever. If this movie's chronic head-up-its-ass syndrome wasn't a definite indicator, look at his picture on IMDB. It sends douche chills running up my spine.

I guess it's not fair to totally lambast this movie, because there were one and a half things I liked about it. The first is Patricia Clarkson, who I'll watch in basically anything; why she is pissing her career away in movies like this and The Woods totally eludes me. I'm really glad she's in Shutter Island, the new Scorsese film which I'm fucking excited for. GO PATTY GO

The other half thing that I kind of liked was that Wendigo does try to explore some interesting themes before it falls in love with its own idiotic mythos. Ideas like moral objectivity and sentience are touched upon ever so slightly; sadly, Fessendouche refuses to expound on them, instead opting to show us jittery stop-motion shots of some cunt in a deer suit running around in the woods.

But what's wrong with Wendigo? Besides what I've already mentioned - Jake Weber is impressively bad. If you're getting out-acted by a seven year old, then it's time to find a new job. Said seven year old is actually a pretty good actor, but guys, DON'T put him in any more horror films. His scared expression was by far the most unintentionally hilarious moment in a movie that is full of them. Eh, I forgive him, he wasn't too heinous for the most part.

ceWEBrity
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

Since I watched this film directly after the atrocious 'Scarred' this film seemed Oscar worthy. The acting talent is there with both Clarkson and Weber creating an emotional and believable couple. The film keeps a slow and steady pace but then derails as finally father and son begn to bond in a way reminiscent of the dinner scene in 'Jaws' just in time for an accident that never sees this relationship come to fruition. Finally the mythological aspects come into play with a guy running round in a deer suit which looks so campy not one shot lasts longer than a second. What could have been a nice psychological family drama/horror just sort of flaps about like a dying fish.

kiriyamakazou
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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