Ah, yes, finally a movie about the most difficult of miniature golf obstacles! No, I’m kidding, that’s not what this was about. Although, honestly, I had no idea what it was about. I knew Noah Taylor was in it, and that guy’s great! Whether it be Game of Thrones, Red, White & Blue, or….Tomb Raider? Sure, why not?! Anyways, the Dutch are known for their tulips, their clogs, and their ovens, so I figured at least one of those things would be in this movie, but if you expected to see people farting under the covers, THEN YOU WOULD BE DISAPPOINTED. However, if you were hoping for a paranoid thriller with gnarly-as-hell practical effects, then The Windmill is for you!
Be careful, Noah Taylor, or you’re gonna keep getting spooked!
While a group of strangers vacation in the Holland countryside, they embark on a “Happy Holland” tour to see hotspots off the beaten path. When the bus breaks down, the tourists must seek shelter in the form of a nearby windmill. The weird thing? This windmill doesn’t really exist, according to a map! Don’t worry, we then learn that spooky witch stuff took place in this windmill, so obviously it’s a spooky apparition of a windmill. Bad news though, as the tourists start revealing things about their past (a botched surgery due to drugs, having set your house on fire, etc.), a Grim Reaper-ish character makes them all pay for their sins. With death. The Grim Reaper kills them. People get killed in a windmill. That’s what this movie is about. Pretty cool, right?
Oh no! Don’t do bad things in your life or this ghoul will haunt your bones!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “This movie doesn’t sound exceptionally exciting,” and you’re not far off. The story itself isn’t all that unique, other than being set in Holland and in a windmill, I guess, but please don’t let that fool you. Now that we have almost reached the end of 2016, I can confidently say that The Windmill has some of the best practical effects kills of the year. Like, holy crap. I’ll admit my interest in the film started to wane in the first 25 minutes or so, but then the first kill happens and it is BONKERS. I mean, I don’t want to give any of them away, but they are ridiculous. The performances are fine, the concept is fine, there’s just enough mythology there to justify the story, but holy shit, THE EFFECTS. Also, and I don’t want to give it away, but just when I thought the ending was cliche and tacky (which I didn’t really have any major qualms with), the movie went a completely different direction. Man, those effects were rad as hell. I don’t really have any complaints about the movie, other than it feeling like stuff I’ve seen before, but the effects really push this The Windmill into new territory to make it head and shoulders above its competitors. Come for the supernatural tale of a bunch of sinners getting their punishment, stay for insane practical effects that will surprise even the most jaded of horror fans.
Wolfman Moon Scale