- RELEASE DATE: Now Available on VOD and iTunes
- WRITTEN BY: Nick Jongerius, Chris W. Mitchell, Suzy Quid
- DIRECTED BY: Nick Jongerius
- STARRING: Noah Taylor, Charlotte Beaumont, Patrick Baladi
-Reviewed by Daniel XIII
I love the slasher genre like the god-damned desert loves the rain; but lord knows I have seen pretty much everything there is to see in the ol’ stalk n’ slash game. But, I always hold out hope that the next flick I see will hold something new and exciting and breathe some fresh life into the slashy-slash game. Today’s contestant is THE WINDMILL from FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY producer Nick Jongerius.
The premise to THE WINDMILL is simple; a bus full of rando tourists breaks down in the Dutch countryside, which is home to the titular windmill and the sinister shed where our “heroes” take shelter. The remote locale is also home to the murderous Miller, a legendary devil-worshippin’ psycho, who begins offing our “heroes” in various and sundry bloody ways while forcing them to face their shared sinful secret
To cut right to the chase, THE WINDMILL does indeed offer some fresh ideas to our beloved bloated sub-genre. The first change from the normal slasher flick is that a lot of time is given to developing The Miller’s various victims; and that is a double edged sword. While exploring backstories makes the characters more three dimensional, it does detract from the time that could be spent giving audiences what they crave from these types of fright flicks; namely the ol’ ultra-violence (though there is plenty of ghoulish gore on display).
Speaking of which, the main madman The Miller is a fantastic design; mountainous, menacing, and completely unique in design and backstory (the supernatural overtones are a great touch as well). With its emphasis on an ensemble cast in dire straits the flick plays not unlike a classic disaster film except instead of a burning skyscraper or sinking ship the disaster is a monstrous emissary seemingly straight from Hell itself!
THE WINDMILL definitely comes recommended highly from your’s cruelly as long as you can dig on a slasher with a tad more focus on the victim’s lives rather than how they are dispatched.
Well wadda ya know, the Director of THE WINDMILL, Nick Jongerius, just waltzed into the Crypt o’ XIII! Welcome Nick, please make yourself at home…funeral home that is!
Daniel XIII. How did you come up with the wild n’ wicked story for THE WINDMILL.
Nick Jongerius. I wanted to direct for a long time, but I took my time to develop and see what I liked as a person as well as a director. After producing FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY I found out that Holland has an enormous appeal. I have always liked making horror films and got the idea to use Dutch touristic symbols like dikes, clogs, Amsterdam and drench them in blood. After finishing the concept teaser, I found out that my personal interest lies more in horror with fantasy elements rather than realistic horror. I like grim fairytales and the idea of flawed characters in this spooky Windmill arena is what I presented to Chris Mitchell (who wrote FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY). He came up with the idea to give these characters a sin. From there we brainstormed about the windmill being purgatory. I wanted the Miller to be a servant to the mill. The mill is the actual villain in this story, in my opinion.
Daniel XIII. How difficult was it to come up with a monstrous maniacal menace that hadn’t been done before in the ol’ slasher game?
NJ. Pretty difficult, but I started working on the designs after the story was developed. Once we knew the backstory of the miller, we knew how to design him. The clogs with spikes on them was one of the first idea’s I got. There was a lot of design done in sound effects as well, like the sound of the chains. Every step he takes feels like a pole being slammed into the ground. Rob’s Prop Shop did amazing stuff with developing and sculpting his head, weapons and clothes. And Kenan Raven, who plays the miller, did a fantastic job in portraying him.
XIII. Did you encounter any major ass-pains during the shooting of the flick?
NJ. The special make-up effects were really hard, especially in shooting the kills. It took meticulous scheduling and was really technical because we didn’t want to use CGI. There were also some emotional scenes that were challenging, like the scene where Jennifer has just witnessed Nicholas being killed. She cracks under pressure and nobody listens to her. The dynamics of that scene were hard to set during shooting and it was difficult to edit because so much is happening at once. You want to give everyone their moment, but you can’t linger in a scene like that.
XIII. Any chance that THE WINDMILL could become a franchise like the classic slasher films of yore?
NJ. Let’s hope so, because that would help us get new projects off the ground. If it becomes a success I’m not sure if I’ll direct another one. But I love the world we created and certainly there are only so many places you can go with a sequel. I learned the hard way to never say never!
XIII. What do ya have comin’ our way next and where can we keep up on ‘em?
NJ. Chris and I are nearly done with a science fiction thriller script called THE ABDUCTEE. There is real concrete interest from a sales agent and we are in the early stages of casting. You can keep up with them on my social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!
XIII. Fangs Nick!