The opening to a movie is more often than not the most important part of a movie, creating enough interest to grab the audience’s attention and setting the tone for the events to come. Wind River certainly does that. The visual of a wolf lying in a puddle of its own blood juxtaposed with the cold, snowy mountain is certainly shocking enough to look up and take notice, not to mention adjust expectations accordingly.

In a small snow covered town on the outskirts of Wyoming, the local police force has been alerted to the body of a young Native American woman, Natalie (Kelsey Asbill). She has a head wound and has been sexually assaulted. An FBI agent is called in to investigate, played by Elizabeth Olsen. Clearly out of her depth she ropes in Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who found the body in the first place: a hunter who lost his child in horrible circumstances

It’s a rather simple story, but director Taylor Sheridan gives it a certain amount of style. As the movie introduces us to the various people in the town, we go through step by step what might have happened through the inexperienced eyes of Agent Banner. When the final reveal is shown to us, it’s done via one prolonged clean cut flash back which leaves very little room for doubt in a brutally vicious scene

Wind River is a movie of peaks and troughs. Littered with unnervingly quiet moments, and, when it’s not quiet, unbelievably tense dialogue, Sheridan masterfully pulls off heart-wrenching moments. A film highlighting the genuine issue of a missing Native Americans in rural towns, Wind River is a smart and hypnotic drama, and for those who love a good old fashioned thriller, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Wind River is on release now