Movie Review: Willow Creek

IMDB, Willow Creek“Willow Creek” on IMDB

Horror, 77 Minutes, 2013

I’m a skeptic. In a general sense, yes, but also in the organized one. This movie is about Bigfoot, something for which the ridiculously poor evidence can’t even begin to defend as “a thing”. Sure, it’s kind of fun and kind of harmless, but it’s also annoying as hell to hear about the same old, debunked, evidence again and again. It’s also a found-footage movie and, damn, aren’t they getting old?

The movie follows a budding filmmaker and his skeptical girlfriend as they make a pilgrimage to the site of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film. Of course, despite mounds of detracting evidence, this continues to be the absolute best evidence for the existence of Bigfoot. (The lack of any other first hand evidence in the nearly 50 years since speaks volumes to its likely veracity.) The couple plans to interview the locals, many of whom are making comfortable livings off the Bigfoot trade, and then hike out to the original site and camp.

The vast majority of the movie is… dull, but with only a 77 minute run-time it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The first two-thirds are the couple interviewing people, having fun and dealing with an occasional bit of foreshadowing or a foreboding local. Once they get into the woods, things pick up. They pick up in a completely predictable, totally unoriginal way, but they do pick up.

The movie is well done. The sense of dread builds nicely and the “scary parts” at the end work as well as any found footage flick; often better than most. The acting is above par for the genre, but not especially memorable. The last few moments have a decent payoff, even if they were also annoyingly trite.

The only reason I gave this a chance was that it was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait [IMDB]. His previous work, such as the amazing “World’s Greatest Dad” [my review], has all been incredibly deft dark comedy. I kept expecting a twist or a joke that would hilariously satirize the genre; it never came. It’s exactly what it appears to be: a thoroughly mediocre, straight-up horror movie.

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