Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 10th, 2014
The New York Times reviews Willow Creek:
As a comedian, Bobcat Goldthwait can seem like a colicky baby, spitting punch lines punctuated by random screams. As a filmmaker, however, he’s more focused and less predictable, channeling his choleric style into pointed satires on American society that sometimes hit their marks with uncomfortable directness.
Which is to say that restraint has not been one of his watchwords — until now. With “Willow Creek,” a found-footage yarn set in Humboldt County, Calif., Mr. Goldthwait exercises so much caution that you want to get behind his characters and push. This impatience stems at least partly from expectations cultivated by a long line of similar pseudo-documentary creep-outs — curious seekers of the supernatural getting more than they bargained for — dating all the way back to “The Blair Witch Project” in 1999. As if in homage to that ingenious groundbreaker, “Willow Creek” hugs the template with a deliberation that has the unfortunate effect of encouraging our brains to dance ahead of the script.
Simplicity itself, the story sends a Bigfoot fanatic (Bryce Johnson) and his skeptical girlfriend (Alexie Gilmore) deep into the Six Rivers National Forest, armed only with a video camera and youthful enthusiasm. Their destination is the site of a supposed Sasquatch sighting recorded in a 1967 film fragment, but local monster experts (delightfully played by residents of the area) are cautionary. By the time our couple set up camp and night descends, we’ve been teased much too long to be satisfied with anything less than a rampaging, hairy biped.
It’s not to be, but Mr. Goldthwait gives us lovely, buttery daylight scenes, nicely relaxed leads and dialogue that pays attention to fluctuating gender dynamics. He also engineers a static, almost wordless 19-minute shot inside a tent that generates more tension than many horror directors achieve with a swarm of foley artists and a healthier budget. This canny exploitation of the power of silence is unnerving; that it should come from one of our most aggressively vocal performers is an unexpected treat.
Available on GooglePlay to rent for $6.99 or own for $14.99.
Available on Amazon.com to rent for $6.99, own in SD for $14.99 or HD for $19.99.
Available on iTunes to purchase for $12.99.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.