Director Nick Jongerius and co-writing team Chris W. Mitchell and Suzy Quid delivers a very interesting storyline, blending two subgenres in horror and creating strong characters moving to a cross between slasher and supernatural tales. Normally, one can argue that the two genres do intersect often takes the likes of sequels of the Friday the 13th, Elm Street and even Halloween series, however in the film, it fits together in a different manner, making for a slightly more compelling tale which relies more on the potential victims than the monster. It is their choices, which lead them to this escapism perceived in their lives, only to discover a self-loathing and a corrupt sole as their downfall. In addition, Jongerius went further to ensure his movie did not fall into the realm of slasher sludge by stripping one word in the original title known as ‘massacre’ this liking falls into a double edge blade, the infamous connection the word generates more attention of the horror crowd, the removal allows the film to stand on its own. The cover art even takes away from the supernatural slasher baseline, if this intention become the focal point then why even create the tale in the first place, as many horror fans see a burning windmill reference quickly to the Frankenstein films. At least Nick’s earns a very good distribution through XLrator Media, for a movie with psychological impacts than pure slaughterhouse mayhem.
The film starts in a more original location, Amsterdam, starting first with a young Australian with a dark past (Charlotte Beaumont, in her first horror flick) as Jennifer, a nanny, caught with a forged passport outsmarting her employer and escaping to walk the streets and herein crosses paths with others soon to join a tour bus. It allows a refreshing method to introduce the characters for the journey as we, the audience learn for example an all-business father Douglas (Patrick Baladi) supposedly bonding trip with his son Curt (Adam Thomas Wright, a very good performance) pointing out a famous location, like Anne Frank’s home and discovering his father contains no interest. In the evening, the infamous red light district a marine, Jackson (Ben Batt), bumps into Jennifer, and later involves himself in a close relationship with a prostitute. In fact, the casting really impresses the movie early on, as the characters provide a true level of tourism for the bus trip, as a doctor Nicholas (Noah Taylor) add into the mix with photographer, Ruby (Fiona Hampton) on a special assignment and lastly Takashi (Tanroh Ishida). All of them contain sins and secrets, but the Charon of this time is Abe (Bar Klever) the bus driver, who tours the countryside of famous places include Windmills. Herein lies the other half of the supernatural slasher thriller, with The Miller (Kenan Raven), who killed more often than grinding flour or being a good Christian, which impressed, per legend, Devil and thereby granting immortal to slay the guilty unwilling to repent their sins. The Windmill’s impressive structure, though strangely enough burned by the villagers of then it returns at the proper moment. This all sets, in the film, The Miller as the guardian of a gateway to hell and awaits the sinners who only need to confess sincere forgiveness of their ungodly actions repent the mortal sins. However for those that can’t confess, the reaping and grinding commences in a wonderful shower of bloodlust and screams, as their walls of secrets crumbling in nightmarish situations.
While no individual actor stands above the rest, it truly is not a negative, rather well balanced, each providing a solid foundation for the entire movie to proceed forward and allowing a thrilling twist conclusion to summon from a good script. The interactions all fit together, more in a sense that the group seeks to escape their traps in life temporarily while visiting a countryside and looking off at the horizon, and trying to bury their issues. Jongerius uses the night and isolationism as more of a foundation of scares that an empty warehouse or abandon factory, a more original location, a Windmill, generating a dull place to a hellish visual element. Abe’s character definitely notes a fondness for a precious character, in sickening fashion and his hidden agenda, haunts on many levels.
While The Windmill, stands slightly in the darkness, welcoming all, be forewarned the pure of heart and clean of sin, stand a better chance of leaving in one piece than many, many others. The body count adds up quickly, including an interesting switch on the standard base rule of the slasher subgenre, however the guts of this tale, though not perfect, do present themselves for everyone to partake in their gruesome display.