Antlers (2021)

Anticipation makes the heart grow fonder, or something like that. Back in 2020 when the plan was to go to a movie theater each week–you know, before the world ended–Antlers was a movie I was pumped to see. It’s a mainstream wendigo movie! That’s a cryptid I am inordinately fond of! And thankfully, the anticipation paid off better than The Lodge, because this movie is certainly passable.

A little boy named Lucas is showing signs of child abuse in school, something his teacher Julia (Ms. Keri Russell) picks up on in part thanks to her traumatic past. But while Lucas absolutely has a shitty methed-out father, the real problem is that Dad’s turning into a wendigo after being attacked by one in a mine. Like you do. Lucas has locked his dad and little brother–who also is showing signs of supernatural infection–in the attic, but a wellness check accidentally lets them out. Now fully an antlered monstrosity, the dad wants to take Lucas with him, something Julia refuses to let happen. After a tense showdown–and some made up lore thanks to a knowledgeable local (Graham Greene)–Julia defeats the monster by tearing out its heart. But Lucas’ little brother is about to go through the same transformation, so she has to overcome all her instincts to put a child down. That’s rough. But then the movie has a generic horror ending where she’s preparing herself for Lucas’ eventual transformation, but unbeknownst to her, Julia’s cop brother who got gored by the wendigo also appears to have been infected.

Monster mythology absolutely fascinates me, and the wendigo has held a special place in my heart to the point that I’ve wanted to watch this movie since I first saw the trailer in theaters. I even read the short story the movie is based on–Nick Antosca’s The Quiet Boy. But while that had a more dour ending, I fully knew that this movie was not going to follow suit (keeping it vague because I thought it was a pretty good story and I recommend you check it out). And hell, while you’re at it, look up Algernon Blackwood’s The Wendigo. That story was influential enough that August Derleth–a self-appointed devotee of Lovecraft–adapted that story’s monster into Ithaqua, the Wind-Walker of the Cthulhu Mythos. It’s all connected, I shout while standing over my Pepe Silva-level conspiracy board with Larry Fessenden’s gigantic forehead in the dead center! And don’t get me started on how antlers are a recent addition to the windigo myth that has completely overtaken the original Algonquin myth!

Oh, right. Uh, the movie’s fine. Not as good as I was hoping, but really, what is these days?

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One thought on “Antlers (2021)

  1. Pingback: Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021) | Chwineka Watches

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