Everyone loves found footage these days, right? No? Are you feeling the found footage fatigue? What if I told you this was a film about Bigfoot and it is written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait? Goldthwait has managed to acquire a solid reputation as an “outside of the box” director with Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie and God Bless America, among others, on his resume. Now, he enters the horror genre with Willow Creek.
Willow Creek brings us the found footage left by young couple Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore). Jim fancies himself a Bigfoot enthusiast and, while Kelly does not believe in the myth, she has agreed to help him shoot a documentary tracing their trek along the exact same path that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin took in 1967 when they filmed the infamous footage that is, allegedly, an actual, honest to goodness, Bigfoot. Mostly, Jim just asks some of the locals to share their stories and it is, mostly, boring and not amusing.
After the token angry hillbilly threatens Jim and Kelly if they go any further on their path, Jim, magically, knows another way into the very spot where they will have a Bigfoot sighting. After a completely unnecessary and unromantic marriage proposal, the two make up, go to sleep and are awaken by a strange noise in the middle of the night. Seriously? Why the marriage proposal? Kelly has made it very clear that she does not have much interest in this trip and that she needs to move to L.A. Is Jim in a different relationship than the one that I’m watching or was this a cheap ploy to try to make me care about these characters? It didn’t work.
Imagine, if you will, The Blair Witch Project with no running, and no real scares or moments of suspense. All of the noises that Jim and Kelly hear are the exact same noises that the Blair Witch made. I’m not kidding. So, while they have traveled all of this way to see a Bigfoot, they choose to sit inside the tent, with the camera light on, for 18 minutes. Eighteen long minutes of a static shot of these two reacting to noises and saying, “Did you hear that?”
Dude, why don’t you look outside and get the footage of Bigfoot that you wanted? If you don’t want Bigfoot to find you, perhaps you should turn that light off. Or better yet, how about you just don’t go on the trip at all if you’re never going to investigate the strange noises? I cannot begin to wrap my brain around a horror film where no one goes to investigate the strange noise. How is anything going to happen if nobody does anything? And that, my friends, is the problem.
Willow Creek has a running time of one hour and twenty minutes. I have done all of the work for you and I am here to let you know that the 18 minute static shot comes in at the 47 minute mark and the “Bigfoot” sighting occurs with three minutes left in the film; the credits take up two of those minutes. In between the 18 freaking minutes of watching people listen to noises, the two re-enact the bit in Blair Witch when the girl loses her sh*t and they pass the same tree twice, thus, indicating that they are lost. Cue the strange (Blair Witch) noises again. When Jim hears the “vocalizing” of the Bigfoot, he becomes very excited, but to me, it just sounds like the sports anouncer who yells, ” GOOOOAAAAAAL” at a soccer game.
When the penultimate scene of Jim and Kelly encountering Bigfoot occurs, all you see is a naked female body with a blurry face. (I would like to point out that, while this movie couldn’t be bothered to investigate the strange noises, it did manage the mandatory boobie shot.) The camera then drops to the ground, gets dragged a few feet while we listen to Kelly scream and then all is quiet. That’s it. Movie is over. So, who found this footage?
I am just going to assume that the Bigfoot lady, who is not hairy and is just a human woman, picked it up and she is now subjecting all of us to it. I kept waiting for something to happen. Anything. Then, I started to wonder if I wasn’t in on the joke of the movie. I have absolutely no worldly idea as to why this movie is being showered with positive reviews. Nothing happened. Ok, something happened in the last three minutes; I became very angry and wanted my six dollars back.
Willow Creek is currently in select theaters and available via V.O.D.
You can read more movie reviews from Lisa at Horror-Writers