I suspect the admiration I feel for Larry Fessenden’s Wendigo is all out of proportion to the movie itself, but he could have easily taken the “easy” way out–monster turns up, slaughters a whole bunch of people, the end–and that’s not necessarily always a bad thing, but no matter how well it’s done it’s also very, very familiar).
Instead Fessenden turns his movie into a story about innocence, and the possibilities it brings as well as magic, and the imagination.
As I mention in my video, in spirit it reminds me of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth a bit, except Wendigo came first.
It’s just a clever, well-done movie that I wish were better known that it probably is (that goes for director Fessenden as well because the work Ari Asher (Hereditary, Midsommar) and Robert Eggers (The VWitch, The Lighthouse) are doing now began with him.
What’s also interesting is that Wendigo is thematically similar to The Last Winter and reminds me somewhat of John Carpenter’s Apocalypse series of movies, which while not related all revolved around similar themes.