Movie: Willow Creek
My Rating: 3 stars
Bobcat Goldthwait has always been a rather unique director. He’s never shied away from strange or grotesque subject matter. And, that’s why I’ve seen just about all the films he’s directed. I’m always up for watching something a little nontraditional. So I was totally onboard to see Goldthwait’s take on a fruitless hunt for Bigfoot. Of course, that’s not new territory. Heck! There are whole TV shows dedicated to not finding Bigfoot. And, this movie is a pretty standard, cryptozoological, wild goose chase if I’ve ever seen one. This movie does add a little dose of Blair Witch Project-style, paranoid horror to the mix. But, it wasn’t exactly the kind of subversive fare I’ve come to expect from this director.
This is one of those fictional, documentary-style movies. That’s the kind where the characters carry around their own camera filming, in an attempt to “document” their story. And, I always find that mechanism to be a little contrived. For one, it usually goes out the window almost right away. The first five minutes are that bouncing, handheld, home-movie footage. And, then the film usually shifts to the standard, unseen, third-person observer. I guess it’s a mercy to the viewers. But, I don’t know why most movies bother with that kind of thing in the first place if they’re not going to follow through. However, the movie does stay true to the spirit of the format in that it doesn’t let the audience know any more information than the two main characters do. Our protagonists are a boyfriend/girlfriend pair. They’re looking for a little adventure, so the boyfriend has dragged his lady out to the wilderness. He wants to search for the Bigfoot captured in that classic video of a creature loping across a field. Girlfriend doesn’t really believe in this stuff, but she’s willing to humor her man (for a little while, at least). They stumble into a small town in ‘Squach country, and are promptly warned away by toothless hillbillies with gun racks. Of course, this is a horror movie, so our protagonists immediately disregard all the warnings about how dangerous the woods are. No good can come from this. The rest practically writes itself.
I didn’t like this movie as much as I was expecting to. I really thought I’d be getting something a little weirder. But, I guess this a pretty good example of this genre of movie. So, if you like hand-held “documentaries” about foolish yuppies getting themselves into totally avoidable trouble, then give this one a watch. But, it really wasn’t my cup of tea.