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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, March 10, 2023

Even the Wind is Afraid (1968)

A girl wakes up and finds a woman hanging above her bed. I mean like hanging from the neck. She screams and we see that it was a nightmare. The next scene has a doctor and a teacher, Lucia, talking about her condition. The headmistress later states that Claudia, the girl with the nightmare, will not get special treatment and must attend classes. Well, she isn’t a nice lady, I’m sure that won’t be important later. Spoilers… it will be!

Later Claudia and her friends find the forbidden tower door unlocked. They know that they shouldn’t go inside, but Claudia recognizes it from her nightmare and decides to investigate and her friends don’t let her go alone. They get caught and the headmistress decides that their punishment is to spend vacation on campus and attending special classes. Yep, she is a real peach. That means they are on campus all alone when spooky stuff starts to happen.

The nightmare and the hanging girl are tied to the death of a former student five years earlier. Seems that the headmistress was mean to her as well. It all leads up to a rather shocking twist that is compounded by yet another one. Though in the end I suppose it can be considered a happy resolution, unless you were a fan of the headmistress that is!

Captain Kangaroo uniforms!
I can’t say much about Even the Wind is Afraid without some spoilers. If you don’t like that sort of thing, you can stop reading right now and skip to the last paragraph for my conclusions. Okay with that out of the way lets get to the good stuff. The movie is very interesting but does cover familiar ground. You have normal haunting tropes like the doors that open themselves, the storm that blows in every night, folks sneaking around in the dark, a jump scare with a cat, and of course the classic face at the window. The execution of these gags is decent, though I never found them scary but maybe just creepy. Still the movie does build some atmosphere and checked enough boxes that I was happy with it.

Where the movie excels is in the way it is plotted out. Our lead character is Claudia so when she dies with a half hour left to go, I was shocked. Her body is laid out in the church and the headmistress seems genuinely distressed by the turn of events and questions her actions. Though when Claudia miraculously wakes up she does go right back to being unpleasant. Yeah, Claudia isn’t dead after all… or is she? The movie establishes that her behavior has changed and using discussions about the dead girl from earlier it is clear who really came back. If you guessed that the big twist is the ghost coming back in her body to get some revenge, then you are correct. I honestly didn’t see this twist coming and I really dug it.

Muy Spooky!
A couple more things that I liked were the music and lighting. We do get some odd sixties music along with dancing that didn’t seem to fit, but when it is trying to be spooky the music kicks up the tension a notch. I also loved how well the movie is shot with the shadows playing out on the background. We also get a couple neat reveals as shadows on the wall that I thought were fun. Other than a stretch in the middle with the unsupervised girl shenanigans that felt a lot like padding the pacing is mostly good.

All in all, Even the Wind is Afraid was a pleasant watch and one that I can recommend. I had never heard of this movie before. I’m guessing that is because it is a Mexican production and if the subtitles (which feel like a fan project) are any indication it hasn’t been released officially in English. It can be difficult to find a copy, but if you can I think it is worth the effort. I did hear that there is a dubbed version in English, but I can’t speak to it’s quality as I couldn’t find it myself.

Note: I found it on TUBI but there are no subtitles, so I hope you speak Spanish.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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