[Note: this review contains minor spoilers.]
CAPSULE: Eight or so tourists, each flawed, take the same one-day sightseeing excursion from Amsterdam. When the bus breaks down they have to deal with friction among themselves and what may be a supernatural menace from a nearby windmill that may be a legendary evil place from folklore. Nick Jongerius co-produces, co-authors, and directs this rather enjoyable piece of horror being released in time for Halloween. The story has a strong feel of the old Amicus anthology films. There are not many Dutch horror films and this is one of the better ones. Certainly it beats that other Dutch "classic" THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10
The bus driver says, "This isn't hell, it's Holland!" Well, it is actually some of both. That is the bus driver from a Happy Holland tour. The guests on the tour each seem to be coming from an unpleasant past. Each seems to have his own horrors to face. And the horrors they are facing seem to deal with different facets of the supernatural and may now connect to an evil windmill of folklore.
Jennifer is a nanny from Australia until her employer finds out she is using false names to evade the law and her current employer is going to turn her over to the police. She attacks him and escapes. She decides to hide from the police for a day by taking a one-day tour to see the Dutch countryside. She is just one of eight people on the tour and flashbacks tell us that most have something to hide. It may be odd to have so many such people on one tour bus. But the supernatural may be taking a hand in the proceedings.
The whole feel of THE WINDMILL could have fit rather comfortably with the British horror films of the late sixties and early seventies. In fact, the whole story could have been the connective tissue of an Amicus anthology film of that period. The only feature of THE WINDMILL to tell us we are in the 21st century is that Amicus avoided using blood, and THE WINDMILL has the graphic style and the gore that has become common in horror films. It also has sequences to please the fans of the slasher genre.
THE WINDMILL was directed by Nick Jongerius and written by Chris W. Mitchell, Suzy Quid, and Jongerius. Jongerius also co-produced the film as he co-produced FRANKENSTEIN'S ARMY.
So many horror films seem padded out, trying to get to feature- length by adding another killing or some useless detail that does not really go anywhere. THE WINDMILL seems to be a little short for the story it is telling. Its story is complete in its 86 minutes, but the telling seems to be a little rushed.
In Europe this film was released under the title THE WINDMILL MASSACRE. Somehow that title accentuates the slasher violence. In my opinion if one knows it is a horror film THE WINDMILL sounds more ominous. Under either title I rate the film a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. THE WINDMILL will be in theaters on October 28th and on VOD and iTunes on October 25th. Just in time for Halloween.
Film Credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2923088/combined
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/771449153
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper