The Wendigo has appeared in a slew of classic horror films, ranging from Stephen King’s IT to a Western cannibal tale.
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However, despite the fact that the Wendigo has appeared in several television episodes and movies, it began as a fabled Algonquian ghost. Humanoid ghosts, the Wendigos were once thought to inhabit humans and incite them to gluttony and cannibalism. Their pop culture depictions have seen some changes over the years.
With ram horns, glowing eyes pulled back into sockets, thin skin, and yellowing fangs, the Wendigo is typically depicted. Popular portrayals, such those in The Wendigo and Pet Semetary, are heavily influenced by Algernon Blackwood’s 1910 short novel The Wendigo.
1. The Last Winter (2006)
The Wendigo does not appear in The Last Winter except in the third act. In the end, it’s the suspense of its existence that creates the spooky ambience. Environmentalists are the focus of the story as they attempt to thwart the construction of an Arctic pipeline. The squad begins to hallucinate and perish one by one as a result of catastrophic accidents and gas leaks. Having to deal with the characters in such a remote location only makes things worse.
The Wendigos, as nature spirits, emerge toward the end of the film, providing a lot of room for interpretation. As a whole, the film tells the story of mankind altering the course of nature. As a result, rather than being viewed as monstrous monsters, the Wendigos may serve as nature’s watchdogs. In an interview with RogerEbert.com, the film’s director, Larry Fessenden, said: “When the world’s equilibrium is upset, as it has recently been, the consequences are severe. That’s what the wendigo is for. Different manifestations of it exist.”
2. Frostbiter: The Wrath Of The Wendigo (1996)
Two pals go out on a hunting trip in Frostbiter, a ’90s horror comedy. A Wendigo on a violent spree pursues them when they shatter a sacred circle. The film may not be terrifying enough for modern audiences because of the obsolete 90s effects. The Wendigo’s design, on the other hand, is very striking.
This Wendigo, instead of looking like an upright humanoid, resembles a skeletal centaur. The lower torso of the deer allows for greater speed and agility. The original traits like the nocturnal eyes and externally projecting horns are also intact.
3. Pet Sematary (2019)
Pet Sematary, an adaption of Stephen King’s novel of the same name, involves a supernatural burial place that can bring back the dead. This earth, on the other hand, awakens ominous entities like the Wendigo.
According to the story, the Wendigo in Pet Sematary is a primitive monster who afflicted the Mimac burial place. They learn its terrifying physical look, despite the fact that the Wendigo doesn’t appear very often. The horns, fangs, and white worm under its mouth are all authentic to Stephen King’s novel. Even this kind of Wendigos may resurrect the buried dead into cannibalistic animals, just like the original Wendigos.
4. Ravenous (1999)
Ravenous does not have any actual appearances by the Wendigo, but its eerie presence permeates the entire story. It’s based on folklore and paintings from the time period of the Mexican-American War, therefore the film features Wendigo mythology. Rogue colonel inspired by stories begins eating his enemies’ flesh in the hopes of becoming more powerful.
The film’s darkly comedic tone leaves the possibility of the Wendigo’s existence open. As long as he is persuaded of the creature’s existence, the Colonel takes some extremely aggressive measures. This irrationality contributes to the true terror.
5. The Retreat (2020)
One of the campers gets lost in the woods on a winter backpacking trip in The Retreat and encounters a Wendigo, a dreadful creature. The Wendigo is depicted in a unique way that may borrow from classic horror movie themes.
The Wendigo in this instance is more agile and resembles an orc than the enormous, horned monster. With its luminous eyes and pale skin, the creature resembles the cave-dwelling Crawlers from The Descent in terms of appearance. Wendigo, a predatory creature from the film The Retreat, can strike and seize on its prey with lightning speed and agility.
6. Wendigo (2001)
He thinks he is haunted by the Wendigo after inadvertently hitting a deer while hiking in the woods. A Wendigo sculpture purchased from a nearby souvenir store further heightens the terror for the protagonist.
The Wendigo’s visions and the repeating motif of the figurine lend the beast a feeling of mystery. The character’s hallucinations, which appear hazy and have night-vision-like lights, are a source of stress. More than just creeping up on the titular monster, this goes above and beyond. It’s a mystery whether or not the cannibalistic ghost is real throughout the most of the film’s running time.
7. Dark Was The Night (2014)
Wendigos prey on cattle (and eventually humans) in a newly destroyed woodland in the town of Dark Wasthe Night. Although the creature’s name is never mentioned, the movie uses it to evoke a sense of dread. The story follows a local sheriff’s efforts to track down the monster with just the right amount of suspenseful atmosphere.
For a variety of reasons, this is one of the scariest Wendigo films. To begin with, this Wendigo appears to be larger in stature than previous representations. The CGI brings out the reptilian traits in greater realism. In case that wasn’t enough, there’s the Wendigo lunging right at the camera. Even when the sheriff believes he has slain a Wendigo, a swarm of them appears.