Willow Creek

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Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Bobcat Goldthwait knows. After graphically depicting the darkest aspects of human nature with his pitch-black comedies World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America, one of the true mavericks of American independent cinema now looks to the shadows of the forest and the Bigfoot myth to fashion Willow Creek, a frightfully fun, genuinely terrifying addition to the found-footage horror genre. Straying off California’s “Bigfoot Scenic Byway,” Jim (Bryce Johnson) – an avowed sasquatch believer – and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) – his less-than-convinced girlfriend – take in the surreal sights of Willow Creek, the tiny community a stone’s throw from where the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage (which purportedly captured the notorious monster in motion) was shot. Munching on “Bigfoot burgers,” enjoying kitschy Bigfoot-themed tourist traps and listening to balladeers celebrate the ‘squatch in song, they’re lulled into complacency. Even a stranger’s emphatic warning – “It’s not a joke!” – doesn’t deter them from ill-advisedly venturing into the woods in search of the unknown. When they inevitably find themselves lost, the couple is transported into a realm of primal terror that will bring them face-to-face with their worst fear, and prove that the deep woods are no place for a pair of naïve city slickers. (Dir. by Bobcat Goldthwait, 2013, USA, 80 mins., Not Rated, MPI/Dark Sky Films) Digital