Format: DVD from Wilmington Public Library through interlibrary loan on laptop.
Different cultures and different indigenous groups have their own monsters and myths. Some of them seem strange to us simply because the mythic monsters we grew up with are what we grew up with. It makes them seem normal, and other cultures’ versions are weird in comparison. The wendigo myth—an ancient cannibalistic spirit that invades the bodies of men and corrupts them—is a purely American myth, and one that has been variously handled by filmmakers and authors in the past. In the case of the film Wendigo, we’re losing the cannibalism aspects of the classic monster here along with just about everything else it would seem.
Wendigo is clearly a horror movie, but it also doesn’t seem to know that until the final 12-15 minutes. Oh, there are a few moments where we get hints of horror movie, but nothing really happens that puts us all the way there until the end. And even then, we’re never sure that what we’re seeing is real. It could just as easily be the dream of one character or the hallucination of another. I know I’m tipping my hand here, but there are typically two possibilities for something like this. One possibility is a mystery to ponder. The other is an unsatisfying conclusion. We’re in the realm of the second possibility in this case.