Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Halloween 2014: Day 24

Week #4: Bigfeet
Willow Creek
Bobcat Goldthwait

Jim (Bryce Johnson) is a Bigfoot enthusiast. He drags his reluctant girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore), along on a trip to Northern California to see if he can capture foot footage of Bigfoot at the site where the famous Patterson-Gimlin film was shot. They stop at the Bigfoot festival in Willow Creek, where they mock the tacky Bigfoot decorations, songs, and merchandise. As they finally head into the woods, they get harassed by some locals. Jim persists, on getting to the spot. Things take on a more ominous tone as the truth about the Bigfoot legend are far more horrific they can conceive.

Up until now, Bobcat Goldthwait’s films have been pitch-black comedies with a real core of emotion. I was curious if Willow Creek would be a feint of some kind, set-up as a found footage horror film but really become something else. There are moments of black comedy, and Jim and Kelly’s relationship does form the backbone of the movie, but Willow Creek is about as straight forward a horror film as you’re ever going to see. After watching how Bigfoot movies of the 70s presented themselves as pseudo-documentaries, the verisimilitude of the found footage movie seems a logical evolution. Willow Creek is excellently crafted but it does very little to break the formula created by The Blair Witch Project (1999). That fact dulls a little of the horror, since there is very little surprise. Thankfully, the movie delivers an extended third act that shows off some excellent acting and a brutal finale.

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