Willow Creek

(USA, 2013, 77 mins, HDCAM)
Director:
CAST Bryce Johnson, Alexie Gilmore
PRODS Sarah de Sa Rego, Aimee Pierson
SCR Bobcat Goldthwait
MUS Matt Kollar
PROD CO Cassian Elwes, Kevin Iwashina
Classification:
Guests in attendance.

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Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Bobcat Goldthwait knows. After graphically depicting the darkest aspects of human nature with his obsidian-black comedies World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America, one of the true mavericks of American independent cinema now looks to the shadows of the forest and the Bigfoot myth to fashion this fascinating addition to the found-footage horror genre. Despite being shot on the cheap, the tonally complex Willow Creek is arguably Goldthwait’s most accomplished directorial effort.

Straying off California’s “Bigfoot Scenic Byway,” Jim (Bryce Johnson)—an avowed sasquatch believer—and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore)—his less-than-convinced girlfriend—take in the surreal sights of Willow Creek, the tiny community a stone’s throw from where the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage was shot. Munching on "Bigfoot burgers," admiring comical murals and listening to balladeers celebrate the ‘squatch in song, they’re lulled into complacency. Even a stranger’s emphatic warning—“It’s not a joke!”—doesn’t deter them from ill-advisedly venturing into the woods in search of the unknown. When they inevitably find themselves lost, Goldthwait transports us into a realm of primal terror.

“Goldthwait’s humor belies deep-seated insecurities about people unwilling to consider the consequences of their actions, so it was only a matter of time before he made a horror movie. Willow Creek conforms to the traditions of the genre… but it also manages to build on them.”—Eric Kohn, Indiewire

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