September 24, 2014 Willow Creek (Movie Review)
One of the questions that has plagued America for decades is does Bigfoot really exist? Willow Creek is written and directed by well known Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, most famous for his roles in the Police Academy movies (Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Man Show); a far cry from his comedy exploits. Released on the 2nd May 2014 and now on Blu-Ray and DVD, Willow Creek is among the better of the Horror lost footage style films. Willow Creek tracks the story of couple Jim (Bryce Johnson- Sleeping Dogs Lie 2006, Doctor Strange 2007) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore- Worlds Greatest Dad 2009, God Bless America 2011) as they follow Jim’s childhood fantasy of following in the footsteps of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Film (PGF for short), wherein they believed they were attacked by Bigfoot and took footage.
Jim is a long term believer in Bigfoot, while Kelly is just going along because she loves Jim. Using their journalist skills, the pair video tapes their journey to Willow Creek. They arrive in the town which is rife with Bigfoot tourist sites, along with a diner selling Bigfoot burgers, and ammunition in the same place. Jim interviews a few locals, and there seem to be a range of believers from kooky to enthusiastic, and its fair share of non-believers. After speaking to the owner of one such shop, Jim obtains a map through the Trinity National Forrest leading to Bluff Creek where the PFG took place. Jim hopes to retrace their steps and find out what actually happened.
Despite being warned off by several locals, even to the point that one of them forces Jim and Kelly to turn around, Jim persists in his quest. He takes a secret road to Bluff Creek, until they have to leave the vehicle and hike the rest of the way. When they have only an hour or so until they reach Bluff Creek, Kelly insists they set up camp for the night, and Jim reluctantly agrees. Part of the way through the night, they are awoken by strange sounds and encounter a terrifying experience, that sees them stumbling their way through the National Park, going around and around in circles only to meet their doom.
Jim gets more than he bargained for when he discovers the truth is much scarier than he could have ever imagined, and he and Kelly may have risked their lives for it. The relationship between Kelly and Jim is very real and the audience can feel the chemistry between them, which makes everyone root for them even more. Well-acted with a small cast, and the scenery is sublime. If one must die somewhere, it is certainly a pretty place to do it. An innovative and thought provoking film, leaving the question remaining still, is Bigfoot out there, and will someone discover him in all the acres and acres of uncharted American wilderness? CrypticRock gives Willow Creek 5 out of 5 stars.