WINDFALL on Netflix is a new thriller that feels like a modern Hitchcock movie. Right from the opening credits and on to the character-driven plot. A very small, but strong, cast and amazing final minutes make for a movie worth watching. Read our full Windfall movie review here!
WINDFALL is a new Netflix movie with a strong Hitchcockian vibe. The opening credits alone are pure Hitchcock, but in a way that clearly aims to pay tribute and not just imitate.
After all, this movie was made by a director who has already made an impression with his own style. More on him later. For this movie, the cast is what carries the plot. Of course, with a very character and dialogue-driven storyline, how could it not?! There is a distinct and very unfortunate lull in the third act. Fortunately, the final moments of this movie make for a strong ending.
Continue reading our Windfall movie review below and find it on Netflix now.
Three people and one location
The entire story in Windfall plays out in just one location. Well, okay, both the house and its surroundings, so it isn’t like one room or anything. But still, we get familiar with these surroundings and stay there. In that sense, it does feel a bit like watching a play. Also, having just a few characters and lots of dialogue as opposed to actions adds to the feeling of watching a theater play.
While the core cast consists of just three people, we do see four people (and hear the voice of an additional person). The fourth person also becomes important, so the right thing would be to say that the core cast consists of four people.
Still, the actual storyline revolves around three of them, which is where the focus is. These characters are extremely different and none of them seem to really like each other. Least of all the two people who are married. Mostly because the wife isn’t even allowed to be herself.
However, she also acknowledges that she knew this would be the price of marrying the man she now calls husband.
The small core cast consists of Jason Segel as “Nobody”, Lily Collins as “Wife”, and Jesse Plemons as “CEO/Husband”. All three are also producers on the film. As so many times before, Jesse Plemons does tend to make a stronger impression during the movie. However, his character is also written to leave a mark!
The fourth additional person is “Gardner” played by Omar Leyva (Truth or Dare). All of them are absolutely brilliant in their own rights.
A weak third act, but a strong ending
While I was very entertained by Windfall for a long time, something went wrong in the final act. All the energy and intensity that had been built up, just dissipated. I didn’t even truly realize it until my mind started wondering.
It was the strangest experience since the quick, sharp, and witty dialogue of the beginning had held me captive. In the best way!
It’s especially strange since the runtime is just around an hour and a half, which is usually a good sweet spot. Still, I have to say that the Windfall ending was all kinds of brilliant. In other words, just hang in there for the lull and you will get a strong ending to set things right before the end credits.
Watch Windfall on Netflix now!
Charlie McDowell is the director of Windfall and he definitely has an interesting resume of productions behind him. From directing episodes of Silicon Valley, Legion, and Tales from the Loop to the sci-fi drama romance The Discovery (2017) and now Windfall. Also, he tends to work with the same people, which I am always a fan of. Both in terms of actors and writers.
The story for Windfall came from the minds of Charlie McDowell himself and actor Jason Segel along with the screenplay writers Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker. That final name might be especially intriguing to fans of horror movies and thrillers.
Andrew Kevin Walker had his feature film debut as a screenwriter with the horror sci-fi movie Brainscan (1994) and then went on to write Se7en (1995). He is returning to work with David Fincher right now as Fincher is currently filming The Killer which is based on a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker. Unlike Se7en, the upcoming film isn’t an original story but is based on a graphic novel by Alexis Nolent.
The bottom line for Windfall: The strong, small cast does a great job and the first half is very entertaining. I can’t help but be irritated by that third act, but then the amazing final minutes came which saved a lot. Just not everything and this movie clearly had the potential for much more. Windfall is a movie worth watching for its strong style and brilliant performances. And yes, that is enough, but only just.
Windfall is out on Netflix from March 18, 2022.
Director: Charlie McDowell
Writers: Justin Lader, Andrew Kevin Walker
Cast: Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons, Omar Leyva
A Hitchcockian thriller following a wealthy couple who arrive at their vacation home only to find it’s being robbed.
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