Film Review – Willow Creek (2013)

Willow - post

Title – Willow Creek (2013)

Director – Bobcat Goldthwait (World’s Greatest Dad)

Cast – Bryce Johnson, Alexie Gilmore

Plot – Jim (Johnson) and girlfriend Kelly (Gilmore) head deep into the woods outside of Willow Creek in search of evidence of Bigfoot.

 “We’re going to have a great time, but I’m not about to say I believe in Bigfoot”

Review by Eddie on 2/10/2014

Well this is something a little different for comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, a low budget found footage horror that wouldn’t be out of the grasp of a few student filmmakers with the motivation to provide some nice scares to their classmates, for Willow Creek really is the quintessential low budget horror that feels like a distant hairier cousin to the granddaddy of them all The Blair Witch Project.

Starting out as most found footage flicks do, that being slow and steady and almost uninteresting, Willow Creek slowly builds into a nice tempo that you can tell Goldthwait had a blast constructing. Boyfriend and girlfriend duo Jim and Kelly trapes around the town of Willow Creek interviewing various believing and non-believing citizens which allows the film to remain interesting enough to keep you invested and the characters of Jim and Kelly are thankfully less annoying than a majority of other recent similar flicks (here’s looking at you Dyatlov Pass Incident!) so you’re not wishing them to become bigfoot food from the get-go. While the opening half of Willow Creek is tolerable yet not entirely entertaining, once Goldthwait and his explorers hit the forest things become all types of tense.

You can almost imagine the smile on Bobcat’s face when he was coming up with the forest set scenes within Willow Creek and it’s here that the film outshines many of its competitors in what can openly be described as some of the year’s most tense and downright scary scenes, with one long shot take in particular a real hands over the face moment. It’s great to see scares driven entirely through the use of sounds, acting and the fear of the unseen and it’s a testament to what has come before that once the horror starts arriving you will be well and truly along for the ride.

While small in scope and ambition and light on anything truly spectacular, Willow Creek is also a fine example of just how affective the found footage format can be when constructed with proper thought. In an age where horror films lose much of their power through the over use of special effects and jump scares, it’s refreshing to see a film construct a palpable sense of horror through storytelling, sound effects and the fear all would have of creepy goings on in the woods.

3 miss timed proposals out of 5

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10 responses to “Film Review – Willow Creek (2013)

  1. I saw this at the 1st public screening in NYC. You could tell Bob was a little pissed at the fact that I was one of only about 18 people to show up. Still, he thanked us and cracked a few jokes. The film was alright. I was pretty tense during the last third of the film but the first half was pretty boring. Loved that long take thought. Good review Eddie.

    • It was a very nice stab at the genre mate, and cool to see Bobcat tackle something really different from his point of view. If the first half was more engaging this would of been a real cracker.
      E

  2. I loved this film! I’m always a sucker for slow burn horror, and I thought that they definitely used the low-budget to their benefit by making this film atmospheric and not in-your-face-special-effects-crap 😛

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