By Matthew Tilt
A plague travels across America on the wind in this claustrophobic horror from Lorian Gish and Justin Knoepfel. While first conceived in 2019 and shot earlier this year, The Howling Wind could not have been timelier, pitting its two lead actors against each other in isolation.
Arnold Cunningham (Anthony Arkin) is trying to sit out the pandemic in peace when he discovers another man (Nicky Boulos) sheltering in the cellar. Wary of this intruder but unable to send him out to his death, Cunningham takes him in. Of course, all is not as it seems and from this simple set-up the tension builds to breaking point.
Knoepfel’s script is the standout here. Where lesser writers would be tempted to cram the fifteen minutes with action, he allows the characters to breathe. Much of the story is told in close-up and the expressions of both actors is as effective at portraying the paranoia and fear as the words spoken.
The Twilight Zone hangs heavy over this, from the speculative story, to the stark, black and white cinematography, and even the voiceover work of exemplary Rod Sterling impersonator Mark Silverman.
The Howling Wind pays its dues to these influences but does so with originality and flair.
Gish and Knoepfel make an exciting creative partnership and this is another sterling horror short from them.