Compare and Contrast: The Wendigo
Now that we are living in the post-AVENGERS: ENDGAME world, it’s kinda hard to remember that there were ever other movies at the theaters. Especially recent movies have been eclipsed by that juggernaut, a film the success of which is so massive that it borders on the absurd. Over a billion dollars in a single weekend. It’s going to be a looooooong time before that record is even challenged. In reality, though, the recent PET SEMATARY was a big hit in its own right. Let us return our attention, then, to that film for a moment, as I would like to address the depiction of the Wendigo—heard, but never seen!—in the movie, as opposed to its role in real-world folklore.
The Wendigo in the movie, and in the book that inspired the movie, is similar to Pennywise in IT. Cosmic evil, almost godlike, pulling strings behind the scenes. It never shows up to get its claws dirty, not directly. In our world, originally the Wendigo was the personification of the fears of starvation and the taboo against cannibalism. According to legend, when an Indian man, suffering through the deprivations of a terrible winter, resorted to cannibalism to survive, he was transformed into the Wendigo, cursed to forever wander the forests in search of new victims, forever hungry. Which do you find scarier? The omnipresent but never directly encountered Wendigo of PET SEMATARY, or the shambling, skeletal, but all too physically present Wendigo of legend?
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!