Willow Creek is a disturbing little horror film. It tells the tale of Kelly and her boyfriend Jim, who travel into northern California’s back country to video Jim’s obsession with the legendary Bigfoot. The story lolls you into a false sense of security as the pair innocuously interviews past witnesses and non-believers, and gently mocks the touristy Bigfoot hype along the way. A poster of a missing woman is the only clue that things are about to get nasty. And as the pair hike into the woods and set up camp, it becomes terrifyingly clear that they are not alone. The single extended shot of them, to camera, huddled in their tent as something – or is it things? – crashes around outside, is literally awesome cinema, and a masterclass in how the found footage genre should work. The two leads are really fantastic as well (Bryce Johnson / Eric Johnson – separated at birth?) and you’re right there with them as things go pear-shaped. Great stuff.
Willow Creek filmed in Humboldt County in Northern California, even using locals as “actors”; Willow Creek is a real town there, the Six Rivers National forest a real national park and the source of a lot of the Bigfoot lore. Let’s see if there’s a film tourism rush (not).