Would you believe me if I told you that Bobcat Golthwait contributed more to the world of film than just screaming a the camera? I’d wager to say that even casual viewers of cinema have seen a film that the man has directed, even if they didn’t realize it. Recently Bobcat came back onto the scene with a little angry film called God Hates America, and it was one of my favorite films the year it was released. When I heard he was trying his hand at horror, with a Bigfoot-themed “found footage” film, it immediately piqued my interest. Based on everything I had read about the film, it promised to be returning to the roots of found footage, and styling itself more after Blair Witch than anything else. I’m happy to report that those claims are valid, and it really is an interested little take on the genre. It’s bound to piss some people off, because it is a true exercise of the notion that less, is actually more. If you’ve ever seen Blair Witch, you’ll pretty much know what type of structure to expect here. And what Willow Creek does, is give even veterans of found footage something that feels unique, albeit familiar.
From the Press Release:
Looking to make a splash with his research videos into the existence of Bigfoot, Jim (Bryce Johnson, Pretty Little Liars) and his skeptical girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore,Labor Day, God Bless America) take a camping trip to the mountains surroundingWillow Creek, California, a small town where famous footage of the legendary Sasquatch was filmed decades earlier. Jim believes Bigfoot exists and is intent on finding the very spot where the huge, hairy, man-like creature supposedly strode.
But before long, Jim and Kelly are lost in the woods and discover that someone – or something – is stalking them. With each passing night bringing unknowable danger, the two must use all of their cunning to try to make it out of the forest alive.
Dark Sky’s Blu-ray release of Bob Golthwait’s Willow Creek is the best home video exhibition of the film that we’ll probably get. Who knows, though? If it finds cult status, they may double-dip down the line, and release some kind of special edition with new extras. As it stands though, you get perfect video and audio quality, and enough extras to satisfy your need to learn more about the production of the film. Golthwait’s commentary tracks are almost always informatively entertaining. The picture quality is great, but this is a found footage film, not some flashy mega-budget blockbuster filmed with the latest and greatest in camera technology. The most important aspect of this film is the sound quality, as much of the films’ scares are delivered by way of spooky, and often times terrifying “bumps in the night”. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track does a tremendous job of filling every dark corner of your living room with these sounds. Several times I had to pause the film, to make sure that the dangers that lurk in the woods of Willow Creek weren’t outside my door. The film’s most intense scene relays the scares almost-entirely by way of the eerie sounds outside of the couple’s tent, and it left me glued to my seat, in high-anticipation of what might be lurking beyond the walls of said tent.
Willow Creek is now available on DVD, Blu-ray & Digital from Dark Sky Films.
For fans of found footage, this one gets a high recommendation. It won’t please everyone, but those that find themselves effected, will probably lose a few minutes of sleep the night that they watch it.