Willow Creek

Production Year: 2014
Release Date: 09/09/2014
Studio: Dark Sky Films
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

Comedian turned director Bobcat Goldthwait has given us a lot of entertainment over the years with films like Worlds Greatest Dad, Shakes the Clown, and God Bless America.  With a number of comedy and satire films in the can Bobcat has decided to take a stab at a few new genres; Namely, horror and found footage.  An overzealous Bigfoot nut (Jim; Bryce Johnson) and his skeptic girlfriend (Kelly; Alexie Gilmore) head to Bluff Creek in order to film a documentary about the legendary beast.  For those not immersed in Bigfoot lore, Bluff Creek is where Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin filmed the famous footage of the big lumbering creature back in 1967.   This footage started a frenzy of Bigfoot sightings in the area and has since turned the place into a tourist hotspot for those hoping to catch a glimpse of the crypto.


Willow Creek explores this area, the local tourist traps and Sasquatch monuments; all of the places shown are real locations in California, I found this aspect of the film extremely appealing.  The two document their experiences and encounters with the locals while they go in search of the mythical creature.


Bobcat's way with quirky characters takes center stage and for a moment one might assume this is just a light hearted spoof, however things to get pretty tense for a moment.  Unfortunately for horror fans that moment is fleeting.  The two find themselves in the middle of nowhere being stalked by what is presumably a Bigfoot.  During a single (nearly ten minute long!) take the two hear multiple noises and are nearly confronted by the beast.  This is the peak of the film, it's a great intense scene and it's a pity that the rest of the film doesn't quite stack up to that shot.  At the end of the day Willow Creek doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.  Is it a horror film, a parody, a mish-mash of the two?  It's tough to say and the ending is really unwilling to answer any of those questions.  I really wanted to like this film, the clash of the main character's differing perspectives made for an entertaining ride early on, however the train went off the tracks midway through and must have gotten lost along the way.



 This is a found footage film and as such you can expect a number of shaky, out of focus shots, even with the "found footage" look and vibe there still remains to be a lot of detail in the picture.  Willow Creek has a surprisingly nice transfer, the day shots are lush with a lot of natural color.  Things do degrade a bit during the darker scenes shot at night, but things never truly look bad by any means.  The Audio is also a strong character in the film and the 5.1 DTS-HD track really kicks it up a notch during some of the more intense night scenes.


Commentary with Writer/Director Bobcat Goldthwait, Alexie Gilmore, and Bryce Johnson.

Deleted Scene (04:32 HD) - In this deleted scene Jim interviews a local Bigfoot tracker who has no qualms about revealing some information about Patterson & Gimlin's filming location.

Bryce Johnson's The Making of Willow Creek (11:26 HD) - This isn't so much of a "making of" as it is a behind the scenes look at one shot in the movie.  The crew works on creating Bigfoot tracks in preparation for an upcoming shot.

Trailer (01:45 HD)


Fans of Goldthwait's work will likely feel obligated to track this one down, I know I can certainly lump myself into that category.  The idea of that guy tackling our beloved genre is tremendous.  Unfortunately the film is confused, it's moments of horror and satire do not mesh well.  I believe Goldthwait's intentions were good, but the film just falls flat.  Dark Sky Film's blu-ray packs a nice picture, decent audio, and a handful of supplements.  For the ultra curious it's worth a rental.

4 comments:

  1. I was let down by this one and I've liked everything by Bobcat except God Bless America which was too annoying for me. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is good too. You're right though, this film has no idea what it wants to be, it doesn't work as a comedy, horror or found footage (Blair Witch), so what is it? I'm not sure but I was annoyed by the ending.

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