Thursday, December 10, 2009


(Jim Makichuk, 1981)
This film is remarkably successful at sustaining its creepy mood - so successful that you don't really mind that there's not much else there. There's hardly a shock effect in the movie; everything seems half formed, ambiguous, dead-ended, like the chainsaw that is produced for half a chase scene then disappears. The deformed guy in the ice room hacks one woman up with an axe, but is a benign puppy in his next and final appearance; the male lead goes mad in one abrupt, awkward ellipse, as if a scene got lost at the lab; who knows what the ending is trying to say about the heroine. And yet somehow all these problems feed an atmosphere of disturbing disorientation appropriate to the shape-shifting Windigo mythology the movie purports to embody. The abandoned resort setting is photographed with extreme creepiness, and the infernal looping of Paul Zaza's atonal orchestral score only adds to the unnerving effect. And while Georgie Collins is a peculiarly un-mysterious ghostkeeper, she weirds you out anyway.

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