Sunday, 28 October 2012

Even The Wind Is Afraid (1968) Carlos Enrique Taboada

Not too hard while watching Even The Wind Is Afraid to thread back through the years, imagine children watching rapt at the picture-houses, their first horror film, perhaps even first memory of the land of moving pictures. Like a number of made for television horrors in the US of the early 1970's it seems to have sunk heavy into a lot of young minds. Like a lot of those made for television horrors it's a staunchly traditional piece and like those, sadly it isn't much of a big hitter these days. In fact these days I'm not sure that even young audiences would find it terribly impressive these days, such is its restrained approach weighed against the glut ofr flash and excitement offered even by quieter chillers these days. Happily it's fine entertainment for the traditional seeker, filled with charm and a certain satisfaction to it's simple, easy workings. It tells the story of schoolgirls punished to remain on premises during half term, after they trespass in a mysterious tower, explored by young Claudia in her restless sleep, called by nightmare, and there of course dark secret and upheaval.

A typical take on a girls school, desires repressed, two authority figures one old and stern, the other young and friendly. The schoolgirls are I suppose meant to be in their mid teens though the actresses seem to range from mis to late teens even to around mid twenties. Not exactly convincing as schoolgirls then but a comely bunch with an easy, lively chemistry that convinces in establishing them as a cohort. And their mixed ages do mean that the films one racier moment has a somewhat pleasing charge, though it simultaneously robs it of potential daring effect. It's a shame that the film doesn't make more efforts to push the envelope, there's plenty of scope here for taking the story beyond its tropes and winding the supernatural into an actual consideration of repression and authority, isolation and tragedy, the notion of school as microcosm, but nothing really emerges, the film stays basic throughout. But its still good stuff with a couple of able chills, and in the nightime howling of wind moments of rather engaging clammy atmosphere. In essence it may come down to a childs film, but it's a childs film in the best way, calling to the imagination, looking to the world to come and the world beyond. And as such I guess I rather recommend it, a film for the child within the horror fan if that child still lives. Not the enduring classic that some have it as, but still definitely worth a look.

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