The Wind ★★½

My hopes that this psychological thriller about a woman abandoned on the plains was an extended homage to the silent Gish joint of the same name (a top-5 silent film, imo) held out for the first reel or so, at which point it became obvious that psychological demons would give way to actual demons… or would they? Director Emma Tammi has certainly made a cruder portrait of frontier madness than Sjöström did, but her film is not entirely without nuance or interest. It slowly unsettles itself from early assumptions, leaving the viewer with no certain ground to stand on by its end. Unfortunately, it’s also something of a squandered opportunity, with images that are muddled and not nearly as searing as they might be given the starkness of the setting. Performances, too, are rather uneven (and why is everyone on the range so attractive?), with Caitlin Gerard in the central role missing chances to add ambiguity to what becomes a stock suffering wife. In the end, this more likely was aiming to ape 2015’s The Witch, and once you realize that the shortcomings here become downright glaring.