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Film / The Windmill Massacre

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This isn't Hell, it's Holland!

The Windmill Massacre, known as The Windmill in the US, is a 2016 English-language Dutch slasher film directed by Nick Jongerius. Charlotte Beaumont stars as an Australian fugitive in the Netherlands who joins a tour group to escape extradition.

Jennifer is an Australian girl on the run from her past who washes up in Amsterdam. In a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, she joins a coach-load of tourists embarking on a tour of Holland's world famous windmills. When the bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, she and the other tourists are forced to seek shelter in a disused shed beside a sinister windmill where, legend has it, a Devil-worshiping miller once ground the bones of locals instead of grain. As members of the group start to disappear, Jennifer learns that they all have something in common - a shared secret that seems to mark them all for doom.

Tropes used in The Windmill Massacre include:

  • Abusive Parents: Jennifer's father was a thug who used to brutally beat her and her kid sister.
  • Accidental Murder: Shell-Shocked Veteran Jack suffers a flashback while visiting a prostitute, thinks she is attacking him and kills her reflexively.
  • Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: The 'apparition in front of the vehicle' version. Jennifer sees her father step in front of the bus and screams at Abe to stop. However, when she gets off and looks, there is no sign of anyone. However, when she boards again, the bus won't start...
  • Bilingual Bonus: All of Takashi's dialogue is in untranslated Japanese. Much of it was improvised by the actor who then provided the director a translation of what he had said.
  • Cannibal Larder: The mill contains the bodies of Miller Hendrik's victims, hanging upside down as he prepares to grind them into flour.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: After the bus breaks down near the haunted mill, no one can get a signal on their phone.
  • Deal with the Devil: According the legend, Miller Hendrik sold his soul to Devil so that the vanes of his windmill would turn no matter what the wind was doing.
  • Demon of Human Origin: According to the legend, Miller Hendrick was a human who made a Deal with the Devil. When Hendrik was eventually killed by a mob, the Devil was so pleased with Hendrik's work that he made him Hell's gatekeeper. However, as a demon, Hendrik now cannot harm the innocent or those who truly repent of their sins.
  • Devil's Job Offer: According to the legend, the Devil was so pleased with Miller Hendrik's work that when he was eventually killed by a Torches and Pitchforks wielding mob, he offered him a job as gatekeeper to Hell.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Jack freaks out while visiting a prostitute and snaps her neck. His mates put him on the tour bus to get him out of town for the day till he ships out the next night.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The tourists have to trek through the woods to reach the mill after their bus breaks down (and falls into a canal). Most of the deaths occur in the woods rather than the mill.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: One of Jennifer's flashbacks is of her brutish father taking his belt off and thrashing her with it. Everything she reveals indicates that this was a common occurrence.
  • Downer Ending: Abe kills off everybody who survived, and Jennifer is — perhaps undeservingly — Dragged Off to Hell. Furthermore, it's implied there are multiple bus drivers working together with the the Miller, and the next one is already set to take more people there.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Miller Hendrik may be an undead monster in service to Satan himself, but he will not kill the repentant.
  • Evil All Along: Abe, the bus driver, turns out to be working in tandem with the Miller and was the one to strand them.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The coach driver Abe initially comes across as an extremely affable character: generous, helpful and jovial. He even allows Jennifer to board the bus without a ticket. However, this eventually revealed as an act designed to allow him to lure victims to their doom in the windmill.
  • Foreshadowing: When receiving Jennifer, Abe says that she can get in the bus and that there's always space for "one more sinner". This foreshadows that everyone in the bus has a sin they will have to pay for. And that Abe is working together with the Miller.
  • Freestate Amsterdam: Both played straight and averted. Jack's story starts in Amsterdam's notorious Red Light District where he kills a prostitute. However, Jennifer starts the film working as a nanny for a perfectly ordinary family in the suburbs of Amsterdam.
  • Haunted House Historian: When the tourists take shelter in the old shed, Abe finds some documents that that detail the history of Miller Hendrick and his ultimate fate, which he reads out to everyone else. By the end of the film, it is revealed that Abe already knew of these facts before 'finding' the documents.
  • Here We Go Again!: The film ends with another busload of tourists setting off on a tour of the windmills; including someone boarding the bus without a ticket.
  • Hooks and Crooks: One of Miller Hendrik's main weapons. He scores his last kill of the film with it.
  • Hope Spot: Jennifer apparently kills Miller Hendrik for good ... only for him to somehow survive and claim her soul.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Jennifer had planned to murder her abusive father before he start abusing her younger sister. She carried her sleeping outside, then returned to the caravan and set it ablaze, before leaving and padlocking the door. However, that then discovered that her sister had awoken while she was inside and returned to the caravan to collect her favourite stuffed toy. It is this tragedy that drives her to try and save Kurt during the massacre.
  • Japandering: Fading model Ruby had apparently made a career of this in Japan before a scandal forced her to return to Europe.
  • Japanese Tourist: Everyone else on the bus assumes that Takashi is a typical Japanese tourist because of the way he is dressed and his inability to speak Dutch or English. As it turns out, he knows a lot about what is going on, but is unable to communicate it.
  • Jerkass: Douglas is a loudmouthed, obnoxious jerk who spends most of the movie snapping and snarling at everyone. Even when they are trapped in an abandoned shed by a maniac wielding a scythe, he yells at Jennifer for damaging his coat and says he is going to send her the bill for cleaning it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Jennifer interprets Takashi's vision as meaning that they can kill Miller Hendrik by burning down the mill. This works, and Miller Hendrik bursts into flame when the mill catches fire. Although it proves to be only temporary for both Hendrik and the mill.
  • Land of Tulips and Windmills: The film is about a group of tourists on a sightseeing tour of windmills that goes horribly wrong. Dutch stereotypes are both played straight and horribly subverted.
  • Language Barrier: All of Takashi's dialogue is in untranslated Japanese, indicating that he doesn't speak English or Dutch; the common languages of the other characters. When Ruby is present, she is able to translate (although her Japanese is implied to be rusty, and she frequently has to ask him to slow down). When Ruby is not present, Jennifer is reduced to mime and guesswork to work out what he is saying, which is not easy when he needs to convey information on complex topics like guilt and repentance.
  • Market-Based Title: Known in the US as The Windmill.
  • The Mole: coach driver Abe is actually an agent of the Miller, delivering souls to him, and referring to him as "Master".
  • My Car Hates Me: After Jennifer forces the bus to stop, Abe is unable to start it again, stranding the tourists near the haunted mill. This is actually a deliberate ploy by Abe to herd the travellers to the mill.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The Miller is the servant of the Devil and can only reap those whose souls are bound for Hell. He is forbidden from harming the truly innocent or those who have truly repented of their sins. He has a human servant who is not bound by this restriction and can dispose of these annoyances for his master.
  • Off with His Head!: The Miller kills Douglas by looping a rope around his neck and then attaching one end to one of the windmill's vanes and holding on to the other. As the vane turns, the rope tightens till his head pops off.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: All of Takashi's dialogue is in untranslated Japanese, indicating that he doesn't speak English or Dutch; the common languages of the other characters. When Ruby is present, she is able to translate (although her Japanese is implied to be rusty, and she frequently has to ask him to slow down). When Ruby is not present, Jennifer is reduced to mime and guesswork to work out what he is saying, which is not easy when he needs to convey information on complex topics like guilt and repentance.
  • Red Light District: Jack is taken on a drunken visit to Amsterdam's infamous red light district by his mates: a visit that has a tragic aftermath that leads to him being on the bus the next morning.
  • The Renfield: Although Miller Hendrik is not a vampire tour guide Abe serves this role for him. Because the Miller can only punish those who deserve to go to Hell, he cannot harm the innocent or those who genuinely repent of their actions. Being a human, Abe is under no such restrictions, and disposes of these inconveniences for his master.
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: Kurt sets fire to the mill by tossing Jennifer's lighter into the pool of petrol she had spread earlier. Justified as this is an act of desperation rather than any kind of gesture.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Jack is a Royal Marine and might reasonably be expected to be vital to the group's fight for for survival. Instead, he becomes the first victim; dying before anyone even realises there is a threat.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jack is a Royal Marine recently returned from Afghanistan. Suffering from PTSD, his squad mates take him to visit a prostitute, where he suffers a flashback, freaks out and commits Accidental Murder.
  • Sinister Scythe: A scythe is one of the major weapons wielded by Miller Hendrik. The other is a metal hook on the end of a long chain.
  • Windmill Scenery: A busload of tourists are on a day trip viewing Dutch windmills. The bus breaks down, forcing to take shelter in a shed next to an old windmill. A windmill that, according to local legend, is inhabited by a demonic miller who harvests the souls of sinners as grist for his mill...
  • Your Makeup Is Running: When Nicholas has his vision of the patient who died on his operating table, she is wearing mascara that has smeared and run down her face. Quite possibly this how she looked the last time Nicholas saw her.