A thin debut about a cannibalistic spirit chewing ’em up and spitting ’em out in Wisconsin’s North Woods.
Lovingly raised by his Uncle Roland, Jason Targo is understandably shaken by the news that the world-class anthropologist has gone missing, presumed dead. But for several months he’s had to grieve long distance as he’s parked in a Milwaukee hospital, recuperating from bullet wounds received in his police work. Finally placed on sick leave, he packs up and heads for the remote North Woods cabin on Windigo Pond, so named by Native Americans preyed upon by the windigo, an indigenous ghost as foul-tempered as it is carnivorous. Once arrived, Jason discovers that Uncle Roland’s property has become a bone of contention, with Jason, the heir apparent, as apprentice bone. A sign pinned to a tree by a steel-tipped hunting arrow informs him that he’s trespassing on land that rightfully belongs to the neighboring Buckskin Indian Tribe. A visit from the crackpot but acquisitive leadership of a religious cult, the Wildnerness of Zin (sic), alerts him to the existence of still another claimant. And then munched-on carcasses begin to appear. Are they a get-lost message? Or a case of mood windigo—a gloomy, ill-natured spook acting out some serious discontent?
For all the corpses and ghosts, Gregg’s first serves up cardboard characters in an underplotted broth that’s terminally bland.