7 tourists, plus one bus driver, find themselves stranded after their transport breaks down in the Dutch countryside. After taking refuge close to an old windmill, not only do they learn that it burned down years ago but it is also a gateway to hell. The gatekeeper, a demon miller, who ground the bones of his victims when he was alive, picks them off one by one as he must now collect the souls of sinners. But they each have a choice: Repent or die…
Based on Dutch folklore and director, Nick Jongerius’ self-confessed fear of windmills, this violent sprite puts one in mind of stranded Brit horrors such as Simon Hunter’s Lighthouse (1999). Much akin to the miller, the character Leo Rook is seen as a legend in his own right, as well as both of them possessing similar superhuman capabilities afforded by mass murderers such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees – the main difference being that the miller is actually a supernatural being. And let’s not forget their shared penchant for haunting monolith-like buildings. The Windmill Massacre lacks the intensity and creepy atmosphere of Lighthouse, however. But there’s still room left for a little twist or two.
The special effects are truly excellent: the highlights include a wonderful head-stomping and a gruesome disembowelment. The miller’s getup is pretty cool, too. It’s an even cross between a scarecrow, good old Freddy with a dash of the headless horseman.
Your typical all-walks-of-life cast do a good enough job, despite being confined and thereby limited by their own movie-land stereotypes – i.e. the mopey kid; the mysterious beauty; the intelligent Asian; the working father; the girl “with a past” etc. etc. That said, despite having a terrible secret, the young Jennifer, played by Charlotte Beaumont, still manages to carry off the wholesome final girl schtick quite nicely. I wanted more from Noah Taylor, but true to form he was never known for his lengthy on-screen presence.
If you do happen to pick up this supernatural slasher, do so for none other than the fact that it can be comical without trying desperately to be funny, that it is gloriously gory because it uses good old practical special effects, or just for the simple fact that any horror that so freely uses the word MASSACRE in its title in this day and age is always worth at least one defiant peek