Blu-Ray Review: Willow Creek

Published on September 5th, 2014 in: Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Found Footage, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Brad Henderson


I watch and review a lot of found footage films so I feel I’m well versed in the subgenre. I’m one of those people who love these movies and want to see more of them. When Willow Creek was released I thought it was going to get pooped on because it was not only found footage but also directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, coming off films like God Bless America and World’s Greatest Dad. Following up these movies with a found footage horror film about Bigfoot is not what anyone would expect but I was pleasantly surprised with the idea.

I was confused when people were sort of raving about it because I was expecting them to slam it. Needless to say, I thought that if people actually liked a found footage film, I was going to love it. Well, I didn’t hate it, but I really wasn’t that big of a fan, either. There have been a slew of Bigfoot films recently and a lot of those have been found footage. Willow Creek is a film that follows suit and also borrows immensely from The Blair Witch Project. Seriously, it feels like this film used The Blair Witch Project as the template from day one.

A guy and his girlfriend go to Willow Creek, the home of the original Bigfoot as depicted in the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, to see if they can get any footage or come across any evidence to prove to the world that this mythological legend is real. The girlfriend tags along for the ride to support him but has strong doubts that this will lead up to anything. Willow Creek falls victim to the standard clichés from here on out and that is why I’m not on board with this film. It follows the exact formula as most found footage films, which is also the sole reason why people dislike them so much.

Willow Creek is well made and I dig that aspect, but considering the quality of some of the recent found footage movies, I was expecting more. It feels that this film is taking a step into the wrong direction. If Bobcat had made this film in the 1990s I may have felt differently, but I’ve seen this kind of movie time and time again, so it was somewhat of a let down. Still, it is well-made and has an intense, drawn-out scene that shows the talent of the actors. It just wasn’t enough to save this film.

I’m stoked that Bobcat has ventured into the horror genre, and surprised that he did so with a found footage film. I’m trying to leave his previous films out of the equation when reviewing this one and view it as a standalone but even so, I’m still not a big fan of Willow Creek. I’m damn glad that people are digging it, but I’m also somewhat confused because the people digging it seem to be the same ones who have been trashing found footage films these past few years. Maybe they’re on a Goldthwait high and think the guy can do no wrong. On the other hand, maybe I’m just missing something?

Willow Creek will be released on Blu-Ray by Dark Sky Films on September 9.

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