One of my favorite director’s in recent years has got to be Bobcat Goldthwaite. I loved World’s Greatest Dad in 2009, the brilliant Robin Williams flick about a Dad who capitalizes on his son’s apparent suicide to hide the fact that his son was a terrible person, he has captured my imagination with his dark tales of human behavior. He followed that up with God Bless America, a great dark comedy thriller about a terminally ill man who goes on a murderous rampage with a 16 year old girl to rid society of its most horrible elements. Again Goldthwaite examined media, violence and values in America with a sharp wit and controversial approach. Now he takes a ninety degree turn to make a movie about a couple looking for Bigfoot in Willow Creek.
Jim (Bryce Johnson) and his girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) decide to shoot a documentary where they visit the infamous site of the 1967 Bigfoot sighting film and hope to have similar luck capturing footage of the mythical creature. While Jim is determined to prove the legend real, Kelly is a skeptic and just along to spend time with Jim. But once in the deep woods, Jim and Kelly find themselves turned around and unable to find their way out. And what they may find in the woods may make them regret ever making the trip in the first place.
For Willow Creek Goldthwaite decided to make a film in the popular found footage style. He handles the task extremely well making the proceedings looks like found footage without overdoing the shaky style. He also made the wise decision of casting two very good actors in his lead roles. Both Johnson and Gilmore are very believable as a couple working out their relationship issues while searching for the famed monster. But this is also here I found Willow Creek to be a little disappointing. While Goldthwaite manages to weave an interesting narrative and uses the found footage format to his advantage, it isn’t until the movie is over that you realize nothing really happened for almost all of the running time. It really is a couple’s therapy session in the woods for 60 minutes followed by 10 minutes of tension and ending with no reveal or satisfying end at all. I wouldn’t even classify this as a horror film at all as nothing horrific happens at any point. Goldthwaite has crafted a good looking found footage film with great performances by his leads, but that is pretty much all you get.
The Blu-ray from Anchor Bay is pretty good looking considering it is meant to all be on handheld amateur cameras. Don’t expect to be blown away but it is a solid presentation with some nice ambiance in the surround channels. Also don’t expect to see any Bigfoot.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.