WENDIGO (2001) Reviews and overview

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Wendigo is a 2001 American horror film written, edited and directed by Larry Fessenden (Depraved; BeneathHabit); it stars starring Patricia Clarkson, Jake Weber, Erik Per Sullivan, and John Speredakos.

George (Jake Weber) is a professional photographer with a Manhattan advertising agency. Needing some time away from the city, George, his wife Kim (Patricia Clarkson), and their ten-year-old son Miles (Erik Per Sullivan) head to upstate New York to take in the winter sights.

George accidentally hits and severely injures a deer that ran onto the icy road. After George stops to inspect the damage, he’s confronted by an angry local named Otis who flies into a rage. Once they reach their destination they discover that Otis, unfortunately, lives next door and strange things begin to happen in the cottage…


Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

Wendigo had all the aces in hand during most of this horror game, but when the last call came in, it folded. I was enamored by the depressive feel, the trippy look, the solid actors, the intelligence in the dialogue and the creative, old-fashioned special effects though. There’s also such a sense of impending doom floating about this flick…” John Fallon, Arrow in the Head

“This is truly a hidden treasure among the masses of cookie-cutter horror flicks in the bunches. I cannot gush enough about Fessenden; Hollywood, take notice of this guy. This is a realistic, creepy, and heart-wrenching film that is a lot of fun to watch.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

“The grainy aesthetic and snowy setting give the film a dangerous, wintry vibe […] Horrifying creature effects and an unexpected twist make Wendigo the filmmaker’s most frightening film to date. The finale—which is filled with unsettling practical effects—will stay with you for long after the credits begin to roll.” Blair Hoyle, Cinema Slasher

“Like other art-house films such as Nadja, Wendigo seems to have contempt for its genre, utilizing it as nothing more than an excuse to do some visual experiments.  Wendigo wants to be a monster movie for the art-house crowd, but it falls into the trap of pretention almost every time.” Tim Sanger, Film Threat

“The rampaging Wendigo may be a manifestation of Miles’s incipient Oedipal rage, but at the same time, it is a force embedded in nature and history. Such abstract notions may put off fans of the genre in its most elemental, slice-and-dice form. But for those in search of something different, Wendigo is a genuinely bone-chilling tale.”Dave Kehr, The New York Times

Cast and characters:

  • Patricia Clarkson as Kim
  • Jake Weber as George
  • Erik Per Sullivan as Miles
  • John Speredakos as Otis
  • Christopher Wynkoop as Sheriff Tom Hale
  • Lloyd Oxendine as Elder
  • Brian Delate as Everett
  • Daniel Stewart Sherman as Billy
  • Jennifer Wiltsie as Martha
  • Maxx Stratton as Brandon
  • Richard Stratton as Earl
  • Dash Stratton as Little Otis
  • Dwayne Navara as Mechanic
  • Shelly Bolding as Store Owner
  • Susan Pellegrino as Nurse
  • James Godwin as Wendigo

Filming locations:

Kingston, Phoenicia, and Ulster County, New York

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