A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, discover a young student is harbouring a dangerous secret that could have frightening consequences.

  • Released: 2021-10-28
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
  • Stars: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan, Cody Davis, Sawyer Jones, Arlo Hajdu, Glynis Davies, Dorian Kingi, Andy Thompson, Jesse Downs, Dendrie Taylor, Emily Delahunty, Katelyn Peterson, Charmaine Wilson, Jay Brazeau, Lyla Marlow
  • Director: Scott Cooper
  • timseese-289-40674 - 19 January 2024
    This is Keri Russell's second horror movie, the other being the movie "Night Skies". This one in particular is directed by the acclaimed Scott Cooper. The movie, in my humble opinion, has an atmospheric and ominous vibe to it. The cast of characters involved show their acting skills splendidly, especially the little boy that plays the lead. I believe the Wendigo monster is based on actual Native American folklore. In some of the final minutes of the film where the ending battle is raged, the wendigo can be seen in its entirety. I applaud Mr. Scott Cooper for providing us with a superior horror movie!
  • selfdestructo - 25 April 2023
    I take that back, the final 20 minutes of this movie is a rapid succession of dumb decisions.

    What a confounding movie. I really, really dug the mood, tone, pace, cinematography, the way they kept hinting at the creature, the touch of mystery, and the connection between the teacher and student (well, the teacher, anyway), both with very troubled pasts, and histories of abuse. This was so low key and somber, and deliberately told, you might consider it a slow burn... but stuff happens, there is carnage, yet it's handled in the most low-key, small-town manner. Then all Hell breaks loose, and this just turns into another dumb monster movie.

    Widower, meth-cooking dad Frank hides out in a creepy mine to do his business (Was that a set or a great location? I'm siding with the latter, considering del Toro's money involved). Hears some creepy noises deep inside, and... goes to investigate. Well, a wendigo attacks him, and things go real sour for he and his two boys.

    So, rumors fly, and Frank has gained a lot of notoriety with the local fuzz. He keeps one kid (Aiden) home for, uh, "home schooling," while his troubled older brother Lucas endures bullying at school, and s#!%ting his pants at home. He is also tasked with bringing home fresh, raw animal flesh for his cursed family.

    Enter teacher Julia (Keri Russell!), recently moved back home to try and mend fences with her low-key, yet very stereotypical sheriff brother. Julia takes a real interest in Lucas, and his strange, troubled behavior and drawings, partly out of sympathy due to their similar pasts. Also, what's up with Frank? A couple nosy visits eventually turn deadly.

    This whole story and mood was gravy to me, that is until the sheriff somehow survives multiple vicious attacks and gorings, Julia drags him into the cop-SUV, and doesn't request help until they drive all the way to the mine! Then she goes all Ellen Ripley on the windego (in what is, admittedly, a great reveal), then she turns her knife on the little brother, "rescuing" poor little Lucas.

    Ok, did Julia not listen to a word the Native American/Shamen said earlier in the movie?! I get the stereotypically skeptical sheriff wouldn't be listening, but she was painted as sympathetic to Lucas' situation, and eager to get to the bottom of this whole mess. THE SHAMEN EXPLAINED IN GREAT DETAIL how to kill the wendigo, I know she listened that far, but he also explained that the spirit just finds another vessel once it is killed!! WTF. So this movie ends one of three very predictable ways (technically, it's one possible resolution). What a waste of an otherwise decent horror film.
  • WpgJetsFan80 - 29 December 2022
    Leave Indigenous stories and legends alone
    Absolutely gross to use Indigenous stories for financial gain. There's reasons why we are telling Indigenous youth to stop sharing our stories with non-indigenous people. The movie was exploiting Indigenous legends and still got it wrong. Adding a couple Indigenous actors does not make it an Indigenous production. Stop using other cultures for your horror movies and short stories. Especially if you're not Indigenous. The movie wasn't even good. Hearing the language of my people for this garbage was insulting. The writers, producers, and director need to leave other cultures alone. Our stories are not for you.
  • youngcollind - 18 October 2022
    Aggressively mid tier
    It seems to have a decent budget, so everything's pretty solid from a technical standpoint. The performances are on point for the genre, and it all looks quite slick, with some decent monster effects. It's hard to really say anything's wrong with it, but I can't help feeling lukewarm about it.

    I guess I just find this kind of straight forward creature feature to be inherently silly. The obvious disconnect between the exaggerated monster and anything remotely plausible keeps any genuine terror at arms length. This can all be fine though, it's just best if this sort of thing is approached with a sense of fun, or at least enough excessive violence to take things over the top. Antlers reigns in the gore in favour of it's mopey plot, keeping the focus more on it's domestic abuse themes. Again, I'm not opposed to a melancholy drama if you commit to it, but this element feels hard to take too seriously between all the scenes with the scary deer man.

    In the post Babadook world, it seems every horror movie needs to shoehorn in some trauma themes, and though this can obviously work out very well, when it starts to feel like a prerequisite, it becomes a trope that will eventually become cheesy and force films to shift gears for a bit. I'm not sure if we're there quite yet, but I'm getting the feeling that it's on the horizon.
  • knigaworm - 21 July 2022
    An effective, atmospheric horror
    Something sinister is going on in rural Oregon. The police find parts of a person's body with suspicious human bite marks on a corpse that could not have been destroyed like that by a human. And in a school, the new teacher discovers that one of her students might be harboring a terrible secret.

    Without spoilers, this is an effective, atmospheric, horror/thriller. I have been looking for a truly scary movie and none of the horror movies that I've seen lately have come close to having any effect on me, apart from boredom and annoyance. But this movie... this movie got to me. Partly because of great direction, visuals, and acting. Especially the actor who plays Lucas is superb! I hope he has a bright future ahead of him. He really is wise beyond his years, to be able to convey so much trauma and horror with such restraint. It's very rare for a child actor.

    Another reason why the movie is so effective is that it uses the horror elements to tell a larger story. In this case, the more obvious message is about how us, terrible humans, have hurt Mother Nature to the point where she is calling on her evil spirits to take revenge. And the message that had more effect on me and that is unveiled gradually throughout the movie is about the devastating effects of generational trauma. And how you might go about dealing with it in different ways - run from it, stay and try to deal with it through love or hostility, but the end result is almost never victory.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is "elevated horror" on par with Hereditary but it comes close. And that's saying a lot.