Saturday, December 10, 2016

In short: The Windmill Massacre (2016)

aka The Windmill

A handful of tourists go on a bus tour around the windmills of Holland. As it goes with groups like these, everybody on board the bus has a dark secret – each and every one of them concerning MURDER. The group soon finds itself stranded in the Dutch wilderness (insert sarcasm tag here) and seek shelter in an abandoned windmill.

As it happens, this windmill stands right next to a gate to hell, and an undead miller goes about punishing everyone for their sins while pretty lame hallucinations run around.

Sometimes, slasher films just can’t do right by me: if they’re traditional, I complain they’re lacking in ambition and originality, if they are like Nicke Jongerius’s Windmill Massacre and try to freshen things up by mixing the more traditional bits and pieces (of human meat) with elements from a different horror genre that’s just as tired as the slasher, I complain about that, too. Of course, seeing as this approach drags the film from a genre that is subtextually – and very often not on purpose – moralizing into one that’s explicitly moralizing, providing the audience with the valuable insight that murder is bad (unless an undead miller commits it, I suppose?) in the process, I don’t see a reason to apologize.

Apart from its moralizing streak, The Windmill Massacre also suffers from characters whose travails are painfully clichéd and just not very interesting or fun to watch. Adding insult to injury are some abhorrent fake accents, some dubious ideas about Shintoism (though I have to give the film points there for originality, or just for a nod towards Jigoku, a moralizing horror film that’s actually good), and a generally lackluster script.

On the positive side, the gore’s not too bad, and Jongerius’s direction is generally competent. But then, these things don’t exactly add up to much.

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