Friday, April 28, 2017

Film Review: The Windmill (2016)

The Windmill (aka The Windmill Massacre) (Review)
Netherlands/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the better slashers of the 21st century."

A group of people become stranded near a windmill during a bus tour of Holland's famous windmills. While searching for help, the tourists are killed one-by-one...

The Windmill is an interesting slasher. The plot follows Abe, the tour guide and bus driver, and a group of tourists: Jennifer (Charlotte Beaumont), an Australian woman working in Amsterdam, Nicholas, a doctor, Ruby, a photographer taking pictures of windmills, Takashi, a tourist looking to spread his grandmother's ashes, Jackson, a soldier running away from trouble, and Douglas and Curt, a father-son pair who are traveling together. When their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the group go searching for help at a nearby windmill. However, their plans are derailed when they're attacked by a scythe-wielding psychopath. They seek shelter in what appears to be an abandoned church. While there, they experience hallucinations that relate to the sins of their pasts. So, yes, this is more of a supernatural slasher. It leads to a predictable ending in terms of plot, but I was surprised by some other 'things.'


The Windmill was a surprisingly good film. I only say that because I didn't expect much after watching the trailer a while ago. This isn't a traditional slasher—and that's refreshing. Like I said, The Windmill has a supernatural twist to it that sets it aside from other films in the genre. (Yes, I know some slasher killers have supernatural backgrounds, but it's different in this film.) It allows the movie to experiment with some surreal visuals. Having each character have their own unique visions was great—it added variety to the film. I loved the visuals, too. This isn't an extremely suspenseful slasher like Halloween, which is a bit disappointing. However, it works very well as a splatter slasher. The deaths were very gory in this, too. I mean, I was caught by surprise during the first death. Some of the deaths don't leave such a strong impact, but most of them were impressive.

The acting was good. Charlotte Beaumont performed well as the leading lady. Patrick Baladi was good, too. There was some stiff acting, though. The film was also shot very well. This is one of the better looking slashers out there. The music was good, too—nothing iconic, but more than serviceable. Most of the special effects are great. I loved the practical gore effects. However, there are some blatant computer effects in here, including some computer blood. That was disappointing. The film was written by Chris W. Mitchell and Suzy Quid, and directed by Nick Jongerius. The writing was mostly good. I liked the lore behind the Windmill killer. However, the killer himself didn't have a strong personality. The characters were interesting, too, but they did appear to have only one trait (their sins) and nothing more. The direction was good, though.

Overall, The Windmill is a very good movie. It's one of the better slashers of the 21st century. If you want something bloody, creative, and fun, this is for you.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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