From the director of Enemies comes a supernatural thriller inspired by Native American legend.
The wait is over: After repeated delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic antler – a supernatural thriller inspired by the legend of the Native American people – is finally slated for a theatrical release on October 29th by Searchlight Pictures.
Director: Scott Cooper (Enemies, Crazy heart) from a script he co-wrote with Nick Antosca (Brand new cherry flavor) and C. Henry Chaisson from Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy”, produced by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro (The shape of the water), the movie stars Keri Russell (TV’s The American, bliss), Jesse Plemons (Jungle cruise, The power of the dog), Scott Haze (Old Henry) C&I Reader’s favorite Graham Greene (Wind flow, Dance with wolves) and newcomer Jeremy T. Thomas (pictured above with Russell).
The official Searchlight synopsis: “In a remote Oregon town, a middle school teacher (Keri Russell) and her sheriff brother (Jesse Plemons) tangle with their enigmatic student (Jeremy T. Thomas), whose dark secrets lead to terrible encounters with a legendary one Ancestral creature that came before them. “
Cooper and Del Toro insist that the only thing more important to them than creating a unique and compelling “monster” on screen is making sure that the creature is at the heart of antler drew carefully and respectfully from the indigenous lore from which it came. Much like the legendary Sasquatch – also known as Bigfoot – of the Pacific Northwest, the wendigo has its roots in both regional storytelling and the imagination of folklorists. For example, the filmmakers worked with Indigenous Nations Advisor Grace L. Dillon and other experts while researching and filming aspects of Native American folklore and culture antler.
According to Dillon, an older term used for wendigo by the Anishinaabe (the group of culturally related indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States) literally means “greed.”
“We live together as villages and we keep dividing, so any form of exaggeration is considered abhorrent,” says Dillon. “But there are also variations here. Wendigo can also be the fierce winds that come from Lake Superior and damage what we call the “common pot” of our community. The wendigo can enter any type of consciousness and manifest as an animal or human.
The Wendigo (also spelled “Windigo” and “Wetiko”) is commonly known as a mythological deer-like creature and / or evil spirit in the mythology of the Algonquin Indian tribes who live in the northern forests of Nova Scotia, the east coast, Canada and the Great Lakes Region in Canada. Widely accepted as a destructive, cannibalistic being associated with winter, cold, and hunger, the wendigo also plays a large role in the traditional belief system of many Algonquin-speaking peoples, including the Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naspapi, and the Innu.
“The Wendigo legend felt like a natural addition to this place,” says screenwriter Chaisson, “because it’s a monster that mirrors our own demons and feeds on our worst potential. It’s the spirit of lonely places. In a city like Cispus Falls, the wendigo is becoming a substitute for problems that people prefer not to face. “It’s just a terrifying concept, because a wendigo is, by definition, a person who has been corrupted. It literally comes out of us. “
Filmmaker Chris Eyre (Smoke signals, Skinwalker) also served as an Anishinaabe and Indian adviser antler, and says the wendigo is a particularly apt metaphor for the feudal relationship people now have with the country.
“The wendigo brings a message that you have entered an area you are not allowed to enter and the wendigo will fix it,” says Eyre. “The bigger message is that the earth has been here for millions of years. But we can never destroy the earth; it will destroy us. She doesn’t need us to continue. “
Graham Greene sums up the monstrous being at the heart of this story even more precisely: “The wendigo is the pain and misery that lives in us all and comes out at some point. It lives everywhere and you cannot escape it. “
Here’s the trailer, but be warned, there are some creepy things going on here folks.