The Wendigo: A Found Footage Flick You can “Devour” In An Hour!
For the last few decades, horror fans have witnessed many rises and falls of found footage film. Jake Robinson and crew have not only tried their collective hands at found footage, but they are also tapping into the fairly new sub-genre, that Fangoria’s “Colors of the Dark” podcast has coined as “Influencer Horror”. We’ve had a few strong entries in this sub-genre the past few years. Most notably Shudder Originals Deadstream, Sissy, and the aptly-named Influencer. With The Wendigo, an online personality’s livestream from deep in the woods of North Carolina ends on a seemingly fatal cliffhanger and the stream soon goes viral. This prompts a group of his fellow streamers to search for him, but what they actually find is much worse.
Fans of the Netflix hit The Ritual should find themselves on familiar (if not too familiar) ground with The Wendigo. It would not surprise me to learn writer Jamie Brown (Fatal Getaway) is a big fan of that particular film. The brisk runtime of 68 minutes, goes a long way in keeping the story moving at a steady clip. In a world where studios and streamers are releasing dozens of new movies weekly, short runtimes should always be welcome. Another example of this type of concise found-footage-based style is Shudder’s COVID-19 pandemic hit Host (2019).
A pinch of humor goes a long way!
A highlight of The Wendigo is the scattering of humor found within the film. I’m not sure how much of the humorous dialogue was in Jamie’s script or improvisation, but a conversation in the film regarding how “real” home makeover shows actually are, was a nice addition.
But the film’s true centerpiece is the minimal, yet surprisingly effective design and sparing use of the titular creature. Viewers may find it underwhelming, but when a production understands its budget, limitations, and creative choices like the ones made here, it makes for solid standout movie moments.
Terror Films will release “The Wendigo” worldwide on August 4th.