AFM 2013: Dark Sky Follows Willow Creek to Find Bigfoot
The sliver of sasquatchploitation from Bobcat Goldthwait, Willow Creek (review), has scored itself some domestic distribution via Dark Sky Films, and we have the details for you right here to dig on!
Deadline reports that Bobcat Goldthwait has inked a deal with MPI for all U.S. rights to his latest thriller, Willow Creek. The pact adds the Bigfoot chiller to MPI’s Dark Sky line-up. Following recent Goldthwait films World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America, Willow Creek puts a faux-docu spin on the Bigfoot mythos as seen through the eyes of an aspiring documentarian (Bryce Johnson) and his skeptical actress girlfriend (Alexie Gilmore) as they take a tour of Northern California’s Trinity National Forest in search of Sasquatch. Goldthwait wrote and directed the film, which will get a spring theatrical release in Q2 2014.
With Willow Creek Goldthwait has mixed satire with suspense, and overall his film is driven by “exploring the idea of bearing witness.” The flick is home to various characters who believe they’ve seen the elusive Sasquatch. They each give differing accounts and at times even come to blows. Goldthwait uses this kind of tension to get in some observations on faith and religion.
Jim and his girlfriend, Kelly, are in Willow Creek, California, to retrace the steps of Bigfoot researchers Patterson and Gimlin, who in 1967 recorded the most famous film of the legendary monster. Kelly is a skeptic, along for the ride to spend time with her boyfriend between acting gigs. Jim, a believer, hopes to capture footage of his own, so his camera is constantly rolling.
The small town is a mecca to the Bigfoot community: Sasquatch statues guard the local businesses, murals of the missing link line the roads, and Bigfoot burgers are the town delicacy. The couple interview locals who range from skeptic to believer and from manic to completely menacing. Some of the stories they hear are of chance encounters with a gentle creature, while others are tales of mysterious eviscerations.
On the day that Jim and Kelly plan on hiking into the woods to look for proof, they are given a simple warning: “It’s not a joke. You shouldn’t go there.” Despite the ominous message and Kelly’s own reservations, they head deep into the forest to set up camp. The events that follow will make them wish they had simply spent the night at the Bigfoot Motel.
Director and two-time IFFBoston alum Bobcat Goldthwait (WORLD’S GREATEST DAD, 2009; GOD BLESS AMERICA, 2012) pumps new life into the found-footage horror genre with WILLOW CREEK. His characters’ genuine humor gives them a humanity that is essential to setting up the scares. The satire is so successful that the film’s audience will have no idea what to do with the tension and fear that comes later—other than to white-knuckle it while sitting in the dark.
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