A man and his girlfriend camp in the woods to capture firsthand evidence of Bigfoot.A man and his girlfriend camp in the woods to capture firsthand evidence of Bigfoot.A man and his girlfriend camp in the woods to capture firsthand evidence of Bigfoot.
At first, I must admit that I was very disappointed – infuriated, even – with "Willow Creek" because it was just as dull, clichéd and uneventful as every other dreadful found-footage movie ever made. However, a couple of days later now, it's strangely growing on me. This is definitely a back-to-basics example of the sub genre, very similar to "Blair Witch Project" in fact, but with a much cooler monster. Jim Kessel absolutely wants to prove once and for all that the notorious Bigfoot really exists and heads out to Willow Creek – Bigfoot capital of the world – with a handy-cam and his non-believing girlfriend Kelly. They have a lot of fun at first, munching Sasquatch burgers and mocking the local yokels, but late at night in their tent in the middle of isolated nowhere their laughter quickly fades. With "back-to-basics", I refer to the limited number of protagonists (two people instead of a whole amateur film crew), a very patient and extended introduction to the lead characters and the surrounding and an extreme emphasis on slow-brooding tension and suggestive horror. This last aspect is particularly underlined through an eighteen-minute (18!) monotonous shot of Jim & Kelly anxiously embracing each other in their tent while uncanny sounds and presences lurk outside. Together with a full festival theater, I found this scene very unnerving, but I can't deny it's a powerful and intense sequence. The acting performances of Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson are impressive and the authentic (I think) filming locations are sublime. The climax is dumb, but that also appears to be a found-footage tradition. It's definitely my second favorite title in this totally redundant sub genre, after Barry Levinson's underrated "The Bay".
- Apr 20, 2014