Call of the Cryptid: The Wendigo film review and Wendigo analysis

The Wendigo. Image courtesy October Coast
The Wendigo. Image courtesy October Coast /

Jake Robinson’s The Wendigo isn’t the first found footage flick to give a shout-out to a mythological creature. In fact, some people even speculate that The Blair Witch Project monster might be…you guessed it: A wendigo! However, The Wendigo never shies away from telling you what it’s about. Terror Films will release the film worldwide on August 4.

The story: After a social media star named Logan (Tyler Gene) goes missing in an apparent monster attack, others head out to find him. The story is pretty much that simple unless you want me to begin covering every stray detail. It is reasonably well written, and, even though the Wendigo legend isn’t in the spotlight the whole time, it’s always lurking in the background.

Is The Wendigo a good movie?

The Wendigo
The Wendigo. Image courtesy October Coast /

As for the quality of the acting, I would say it’s decent, but others may disagree (as is often the case). I think Matthias Margraves, Jake Robinson, Hunter Redfern, Taylor-Grace Davis, and Laura Rodriguez (and, surely, a very special thanks goes out to Austin Pigza, who plays The Wendigo itself).

I appreciate films following cryptids and monster lore, and can certainly muster up kind words for The Wendigo. That being said, if you are a hardcore found footage fanatic, I can’t guarantee you’ll explain “This is truly the best found footage documentary-ish film to date.” I obviously cannot promise that you’ll love it. However, I think Jake Robinson knows what he’s doing as a director, and you’ll find far worse horror flicks out there, found footage or otherwise. I recommend watching this movie, but must say you probably won’t consider it an absolute masterpiece.

Is The Wendigo just a forest monster…like a Bigfoot?

The goal of this movie is simple. You are supposed to witness characters who may be experiencing a sudden onset of Wendigo-ism, which seems to be a spiritual/demonic force, and drama unfolds as they search for a missing Youtuber. So, really, this transcends traditional cryptid fare for that reason, as a Wendigo is supposedly a human transformed into a demon through acts of cannibalism.

Many people, when they hear of The Wendigo, think of the mythological monster from the North American/Canadian wilderness with some roots in Native American legend. While not incorrect, The Wendigo is typically more of a supernatural entity and has always been distinct from a creature like Bigfoot.

In order to thwart a Wendigo, it seems almost like you’d need mediumship and contact from another realm, if not a full-blown exorcist. It would be a challenge to understand The Wendigo’s weaknesses, and you’d need gifts and talents, and communication skills (perhaps between the living and the dead).

Questions about The Wendigo left unassessed

Not everything about Wendigo lore is fully explored here, but this flick may have you looking to explore all the metaphysical ways to investigate this type of phenomenon. A flashlight, hunting knife, bear spray, and a shotgun probably wouldn’t be good enough. Even John Rambo might question his abilities to survive a night in the woods with a creature like this!

One wonders if The Wendigo could step outside of the woods. After all, it seems to be as much a creature of the mind/soul as anything else. Why would it need to stay within the woods?

Granted, having a Wendigo in space, in New York, or in “the ‘hood” might be too corny and not as compelling. Like with certain vampire rules or the rules for Gremlins and Mogwai, it seems there’s some confusion about exactly how it works — but that probably only adds to the mystique.

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