From one of the duo behind The Blair Witch Project all those years ago, comes the same thing but with Bigfoot. Another found footage film with another bunch of friends stuck in the woods with another something horrific.
Now, regardless of how snide that may’ve been, I cannot deny any of the above. It sounds eye-rollingly waste-of-time-ish. But I gotta say; I rather enjoyed the experience!
That may or may not mean anything; I can be fairly easy to please, film-wise. I liked Eduardo Sánchez’ original directorial outing, I have enjoyed each of the Paranormal Activity films to some extent and still pay to see each Saw film as it arrives (possibly my fault they keep making them). Does this film bring anything new to the table? No. If that’s what you require in order to enjoy a film, then this probably ain’t for you.
What is does have, is heft. Bigfoot is frightening (for once). It probably should be a spoiler to say Sasquatch is our villain, but he’s on the box, in the IMDB one-line and the film opens with text telling us that there’s been over 3000 Bigfoot sightings since 1967. Cover blown. For those of you trash-film junkies out there, Bigfoot may be the selling point that gets you over the line and into the cinema. Those that are definitely NOT interested, should probably know up front; as it could be pretty disappointing to discover 10 seconds into the film that that is what you just paid for.
This time our Bigfoot is played by the 6′ 7″ Brian Steele – who got his start as one of the actors playing Bigfoot in the early 90s TV series Harry and the Hendersons. And while I’ve never actually had the pleasure of seeing that show, I’m positive that this is a different beast altogether.
The film-makers have done an excellent job convincing us of this guy’s POWER. The speed of the chases, the impact of the boulders he hurls, that SCREAM!! It’s cool that he’s such a relentless go-getter – dropping down onto us, busting through smoke; that’s not really the kind of Bigfoot I’m used to. A lot of the film is tension-building and keeping him just off-camera, but he’s always right there, and always intense. And unlike Blair Witch, you get glimpses of him throughout, starting fairly early on.
But yeah, a Daniel Johnston T-shirt doesn’t stop the humans from being dull (nobody I recognise, just extras from Robert Rodriguez projects or from Friday Night Lights), there is no interesting dialogue and the constant camera-placement is a little convenient (GoPro is giving this genre a lot more reason to exist). It’s a shame, because we’ve seen Trollhunter, Chronicle & End of Watch use the genre for thrills, while still having room for interesting character development, performance, humour, personality and plot. But for a brush with a powerful creature that isn’t speed-ramped or lumbering in a CG environment, this is a pretty good 86 minutes (extra points for that brisk runtime, too).
IN CINEMAS Thursday, 13th Nov 2014.
Rating: M Horror, violence, offensive language and drug use.