Wendigo

( 1 )

Overview

For a low-budget horror indie that never enjoyed a general theatrical release, Wendigo's DVD package is very impressive. The best of the extras is a 31-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that is refreshingly not a bit self-congratulatory or self-promoting; the piece is made up of clips shot over the course of four years as the production got off the ground. Using no narration, and edited in the same haunting style as the movie, the documentary shows how the creature was developed, constructed, and assayed (it's ...
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Overview

For a low-budget horror indie that never enjoyed a general theatrical release, Wendigo's DVD package is very impressive. The best of the extras is a 31-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that is refreshingly not a bit self-congratulatory or self-promoting; the piece is made up of clips shot over the course of four years as the production got off the ground. Using no narration, and edited in the same haunting style as the movie, the documentary shows how the creature was developed, constructed, and assayed (it's too bad the movie didn't do more with it, considering the effort that went into building the thing); just about everyone from the producer to the best boy is highlighted on the job. Director Larry Fessenden's commentary -- which provides plentiful insights as to what was going on in his head when he wrote and shot the film -- enlightens the viewer and adds considerable subtext to the movie. A casual onscreen interview with him repeats many of the same themes, but it's still nice to see him in person explaining why he made a movie about a stag that can run upright. The widescreen presentation of the movie, with both 5.1 and 2.0 sound options, an art gallery (lots of storyboards sketches), subtitles, and the trailer are included. One quibble: The nicely rendered scene selection menu only shows two chapters at a time. Still, it's an excellent, and unexpected, DVD product that clearly reflects the intellect of director Fessenden, who doesn't always get his ideas across visually in the film, but at least he has ideas.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; 16:9 widescreen presentation; 5.1 Dolby Digital; 2.0 Dolby Surround; Searching for the Wendigo - Behind-the-scenes featurette; Director commentary; Art gallery; Trailer; Director and cast filmographies; Interview with director Larry Fessenden; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Scene selection; Digitally mastered; Interactive menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Larry Fessenden's low-budget supernatural thriller Wendigo is effectively creepy, despite its inherent cheesiness. In addition, while the film owes a sizeable debt to earlier microbudget horror landmarks, particularly The Evil Dead and The Blair Witch Project, Fessenden gives his "lost in the woods" tale just enough emotional and psychological depth to imbue it with a uniquely melancholic tone. The opening, with a couple and their son in a car, traveling a lonely backwoods road in the snow, evokes Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, and there's an emotionally distant quality to Jake Weber's strong performance as George, the dad, that leaves the viewer uncertain about where the film is headed. This is good. Though Fessenden is reworking some ancient horror film tropes here, one of Wendigo's strengths is its quirky unpredictability. Erik Per Sullivan, as the boy, Miles , plays a pivotal role, as much of the action can be seen as a representation of his imaginative efforts to deal with a threat to him and his family that lies just outside the scope of his comprehension. Sullivan is soft-spoken, but his intelligence shines through in his inquisitive eyes. He is a very strong presence. Fessenden was also responsible for Habit, one of three late '90s New York City hipster takes on the vampire film (the others were Abel Ferrara's The Addiction and Michael Almereyda's Nadja). He knows the genre, and uses his scant resources to build tension beautifully. The title creature isn't introduced until well over a third of the way into the film. By typical monster movie standards, this one is a low-rent disaster along the lines of The Creeping Terror, the infamous 1960s cheapie "carpet monster." But seen as a bizarre creature out of a child's nightmare, Wendigo is surprisingly unsettling.
New York Times - Dave Kehr
For those in search of something different, Wendigo is a genuinely bone-chilling tale.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/17/2002
  • UPC: 012236134329
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Live / Artisan
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patricia Clarkson Kim
Jake Weber George
Brian Delate Everett
Technical Credits
Larry Fessenden Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Mary Clay Boland Casting
Sheila Jaffe Casting
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte Producer
Terry Stacey Cinematographer
Dayton Taylor Special Effects Supervisor
Jose Torres Sound/Sound Designer
Georgianne Walken Casting
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles/Conflict [2:43]
2. Deer Hit [6:09]
3. Night and the Hunters [2:34]
4. Stookey House [7:42]
5. Family [3:19]
6. Fear [8:23]
7. Morning [3:12]
8. Elder [7:28]
9. Friction [10:38]
10. Myths [3:46]
11. Sledding Incident [2:28]
12. Waking Up [5:25]
13. George [5:03]
14. Hospital [4:08]
15. Wendigo Unleashed [1:55]
16. Otis Trapped [5:59]
17. Panic [1:17]
18. Last Dream [3:07]
19. Boots [2:12]
20. End Titles [4:09]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      Trailer
      Director and Cast
      Searching for the Wendigo
      Art Gallery
      Interview With Director Larry Fessenden
   Scene Selection
   Set-Up
      Audio: English 5.1 (Dolby Digital)
      Audio: English 2.0 (Dolby Surround)
      Audio: Director Commentary by Larry Fessenden
      Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    DECENT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE OF THE FILM

    This film just was a big thumbs down! It just wasn't scary and the story line itself is a little weird. If you do watch this movie turn it off before you get to the end. I won't give it away, but you'll see.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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