Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The woods are dark...

As some of you may know, I have a bit of a thing for 'found footage' films - Cloverfield and {rec} remain two of my favourite films of all time - so when I read about this, I knew I just had to see it.

And boy, was it a ride!

A young couple are making a documentary about the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage and decide to explore the local area in the hope of discovering...something. After talking to a few of the locals and getting mixed responses, the couple set out to find the actual location where the footage was filmed, despite being warned to 'stay away' by an angry, weird ass redneck who turns violent when they refuse initially to turn around and drive away.

Determined not to be dissuaded, the couple find another entrance into the local woods and set off to film around the same locations where Patterson and Gimlin are supposed to have filmed Bigfoot.
Unfortunately, as always in these films, things start taking a turn for the worse when they become lost and can't find their way back...

Willow Creek utilises many ideas seen before in 'found footage' films, including some of those employed by one of the original 'found footage' films, The Blair Witch Project, but uses them to much fuller effect. The first act is all about getting to know the couple, warming to them, starting to like them, so that when things do go wrong, the viewer feels that they can empathise with what is happening to the characters and actually cares what happens to them and this is handled very effectively. 
By the time things all start going pear-shaped, you can almost feel as though you are right there, out there in the wilderness with them. 

One of the highlights of the movie comes towards the end.
I won't spoil anything, but needless to say there is about twenty minutes of footage that was fully improvised, filmed in one take, and that features the young couple cowering in their tent, often in the dark, while scary noises break out all around them. 
This one scene really shouldn't work, but it does - playing, as it does, to all of our most primal fears. Who of us, after all, hasn't been in that very same position at some point in their life whilst on a camping trip? Hearing strange sounds outside your tent and not knowing what they are, being petrified with fear and paralysed with fright?

I watched this in the early hours of the morning, with the lights out, and let me tell you, that twenty minutes very nearly freaked ME out!!!! Let alone the actors...

If it all gets a bit predictable and inevitable towards the end, that can easily be forgiven because the film until that point, hits every target.

 I really loved this, and thought it to be an awesome movie. It scared the shit out of me at one point and left me on tenterhooks and shy film together can do that deserves quite rightly to score highly!

A very strong 4 stars out of five then!

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