Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 5th, 2013
The power of suggestion substitutes for onscreen scares as a couple wanders off the grid in Northern California in search of Sasquatch.
Bigfoot may or may not exist, but there’s definitely something freaky going down in the woods in “Willow Creek,” Bobcat Goldthwait’s effective yet wholly unnecessary contribution to the genre of horror movies allegedly recovered from the hard drives of dead cameramen. As in “The Blair Witch Project,” the power of suggestion substitutes for onscreen scares as a couple wanders off the grid in Northern California in search of Sasquatch, with predictable results. Still, the project does represent an amusing stretch for the comedian-turned-helmer. Considering the low cost, Goldthwait should have no trouble recouping this self-financed venture by hand-targeting receptive auds.
As it happens, “Blair Witch” co-director Eduardo Sanchez is developing a Bigfoot chiller of his own, titled “Exists,” though “Willow Creek” has the good fortune to reach screens first. Even though Goldthwait doesn’t even bother to show the creature in question, he could sap what little interest exists in the subject simply by being first on the scene, the way “Olympus Has Fallen” trumped the bigger-budget “White House Down” earlier this year.
Lead characters Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) belong to the tail end of a generation whose only real connection to Bigfoot has been the 1987 kidpic “Harry and the Hendersons.” An amateur documentarian determined to capture firsthand proof of the creature’s existence, Jim drags his reluctant g.f. along for what he oddly considers a romantic getaway. While not exactly hipsters, the couple display enough ironic disrespect for the region’s folksy tourism trade — reflected in everything from crudely painted murals to oversized burgers — that they’re practically begging to be humbled by the experience.
Read the rest of the review here.