As a child, I grew up watching Bobcat Goldthwait in ’80s comedies like Police Academy, Hot to Trot and One Crazy Summer. I had only ever really thought of him as the guy with the funny voice until a few years ago when I watched World’s Greatest Dad, a black comedy starring the late Robin Williams.
Until that day, I never considered that Bobcat might be a writer or a director or even have it in him to make something so intensely sad but hilarious as World’s Greatest Dad.
Now he has taken a turn to horror with Willow Creek, a found footage film about a young couple who heads into the mountains of Willow Creek, California in search of Bigfoot.
Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) go on a camping trip to find where Bigfoot had been filmed several years before. Jim is a believer while Kelly is more of a skeptic but Kelly’s views begin to change when they get lost in the woods and something or someone starts stalking them. All they have to do is survive until they can find their way out of the woods and out of danger.
Willow Creek starts out much in the way The Blair Witch Project does, presented as a documentary with Jim doing interviews with crazy sounding locals telling them that people have gone missing, bodies have been found, etc. Like The Blair Witch, it takes quite a while for anything to happen. With a found footage film, however, it is important to remember that the film is being presented as real life so we cannot expect anything major to happen early in the film.
It isn’t until almost an hour in that things begin to escalate. There is an almost 20 minute long scene where we witness Jim and Kelly inside their tent listening to noises outside before they are tortured with rocks being thrown at their tent and loud growling noises.
It is after the tent scene that things begin to escalate. The last thirty minutes or so hold pretty much all of the entertainment of the film. I did jump once or twice in those thirty minutes but when it was all said and done, the slow build up wasn’t really worth the predictable ending.
Bobcat Goldthwait has proven himself to be a fantastic writer and director with his previous films and I think he could present us with a worthwhile horror film if he stepped away from found footage and a storyline as cliché as searching for Bigfoot. While I wasn’t a big fan of Willow Creek, I will most definitely give him another shot should he decide to pursue horror further.
Willow Creek is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Dark Sky Films.
Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter