Skip to main content

Wilow Creek

2014
Directed By Bobcat Goldthwait 

Bobcat Goldthwait has done something truly remarkable with his latest directorial effort. He has made a found footage horror film that could not have been made better if it were told as a conventional narrative feature. Most found footage films pull me out because I can't quite give in to the fact that the characters on screen would still be filming while all hell is breaking loose around them.

 


Willow Creek centers on Jim and Kelly, a couple who are traveling to northern California making a documentary about Bigfoot. The first half of the film shows our characters interviewing the residents of Willow Creek. The interviews focus on Bigfoot sightings and the Patterson-Gimlin film that captured the only known footage of the fabled creature. The only actors in the first half the film are our two leads, the rest of the cast is made up by real people who are telling their first hand accounts of living in the Area 51 of the Bigfoot universe.


 

Alexie Gilmore (Kelly) and Bryce Johnson (Jim) both give noteworthy performances that ground this (found footage/ Bigfoot/ horror) film firmly in reality. It doesn't matter if you are believer or skeptic, the performances should be enough for you to push aside your disbelief and give in to the film. That's the tiny miracle of this film, Bobcat gives us characters that we genuinely care about and puts them in a fucking Bigfoot movie. Clearly I went into this movie expecting to dislike it. I'm pretty tired of the found footage concept and Bigfoot just isn't scary to me. How could I possibly like this movie. It's almost like Bobcat intentionally stacked the deck against himself to see if could write and direct his way out of it. I say almost like it because it is clear that we are in the hands of a filmmaker who is passionate about his subject. Most filmmakers would have played the first half of the film for laughs but instead we are given time to know our characters while we catch up on some Bigfoot lore. The citizens of Willow Creek are treated with respect and it never felt like they were being exploited.


 

The suspense in the film starts when our couple begin the 29 mile dirt road trek to the site where the Patterson-Gimlin footage was shot. I could explain every shot of the third act and I'm not sure that it would take anything away. When you have static shots that are close to 20 minutes long andtake place inside a tent you would be hard pressed to really give anything away. The suspense and horror are built with the sound design and the terror on Alexie Gilmores face. 

 

I love this movie. Bobcat Godthwait made me love a Bigfoot movie? Wow. Well done sir. I want to take a moment to thank him for reminding me that is impossible to judge any film by it's tag line or IMDB description. I have seen all of Bobcats films and I trust him completely now. Whatever subject he chooses to capture next, I'm in.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99