Willow Creek (2014)
Critic Consensus: Writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait's first foray into horror doesn't break any new ground, but it does wring fresh terror from a well-worn genre formula -- and offers a few nasty laughs in the bargain.
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Critic Reviews for Willow Creek
Despite the impressively committed performances by the two leads and the screenplay's touches of sly humor, the proceedings are mostly all too redolent of the endless found-footage horror films that have followed in the wake of The Blair Witch Project
Enthusiasts of the simplicity of the original "Blair Witch" picture will admire that it falls well within the tradition of keeping things low-tech.
Willow Creek is a well-crafted, slow-burning horror that uses the found footage approach to deliver a movie that is just as much about what you don't see as what you do. A found footage movie as it should be done.
Audience Reviews for Willow Creek
It may be "The Blair-Squatch Project" but I haven't seen a found footage movie this well made and scary in a very long time - and it is so great to see how it takes its time to bring us close to its characters before throwing them (and us together) in such a terrifying situation.
Bobcat Goldthwait is an audacious writer-director who has been consistently underestimated and no one could've concocted that he would upend the found-footage subgenre with 'Willow Creek', a flippant faux-documentary on the Bigfoot mythos. With a tinge of verisimilitude, novice filmmaker Jim (Bryce Johnson) actually checks and tests the audio levels on his equipment before he begins his series of ungainly interviews with Bluff Creek locals who range from blithe non-believers to devout Sasquatch enthusiasts. Murals of the fabled creature erecting a house are subject of very funny potshots from Jim and the film is not without a winking sense of humor (ex. They comment that no cell reception is the "beginning of every horror movie"). Although his approach is DIY and minimalist, Goldthwait is quite astute about the unrefined mockumentary format like the line reading flubs and uncooperative raconteurs ala the visiting-center woman who is awfully monosyllabic and vague. The coup de grace is an unvarnished 20-minute long take with Jim and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) cowering in fear from the acoustics (wood-knocking, yelps and footsteps) in the surrounding campsite and the effect is eerie and heart-palpitating. For the most part, Jim and Kelly are extremely affable leads and this causes the audience to feel consternation when they are threatened to vacate the site of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin reel. Normally horror fans are programmed to believe that daylight is sanctum from nocturnal terror, but Bobcat ramps up the trepidation with hair samples and snarling vocalizations near a ravine.
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