It appears lately I have stumbled into a trend of my own making, often I look to review all types of horror films, from across all the subgenres and themes, the paranormal to zombies and slashers, however of late it’s in the realm of cryptozoology, yes a return to Bigfoot, a place where films like Abominable (2006), Exists (2014) and Willow Creek (2013) exists. Then again why can’t one enjoy the wilderness and these giant creatures suspending disbelief and rational thought, in the horror genre alone there’s over 70 titles referred in some manner to the Bigfoot beast, and lately documentarian director and researcher Seth Breedlove have been on the hunt for more hardcore evidence of the reclusive Bigfoot. Needless to say, the first time filmmaker Matt Allen who also did the script with Scott Park clearly show their love affair with movie by using character names and even lines from other horror flicks, but thanks to Rum River Productions, known for their film An American Terror (2014) received distribution from both Epic Pictures Group and Dread Central Presents.

The film opens with a campfire and a group of individuals gathered around, and quickly from the tone, and shot anyone who is fan of horror films knows this is very similar to Friday the 13th, Part II (1981), Alex  (Ryan Lee) tells the tale of Bigfoot, and we get a prankster who’s shirt reads Loomis (ode to any of these characters Billy Loomis in Scream [1996],  Dr. Loomis in Halloween [1978], or Sam Loomis in Psycho [1960] – take your pick). However soon enough it all ends in bloodshed and slaughter, before the main story launches. A reality TV producer Rick (Ben Browder), who is down to his last out with his television career, sees an opportunity for an unearthing video of Bigfoot, hence he assembles a crack team but each have their own reasons for joining up, for example Dr. Ellen Freese (Cheryl Texiera) is a short-of-funds primatologist, crypto-zoologist Peter Moore (Schuyler Denham), aspiring television reporter Bridgette Powers (Shoshana Bush), head of security and military expert John Singer (Brian Thompson), and finally a tracker, Cooper Barnes (Max Decker) and father a missing girl. In addition to rounding out his crew cameraman Justin Johnson (Hutch Dano (Zombeavers [2014])), Paxton’s assistant Danny Kent (Brian Landis Folkins (Bodies [2016])). Meanwhile, one can’t forget about Adrienne Barbeau gives a fun cameo, as Wilma, the exact same character name for the segment Creepshow (1982). In fact, some the character names instantly have one thinking about other films, Gage, The Shape; and Jonesy who is portrayed by Anthony Ray Parker (Dead Air [2009])). There’s long duration of hiking scenes, scenic shots, and Rick’s uncaring attitude shows clearly when his crew goes missing as he’s only concerned about footage. Clearly the story doesn’t work all the  time, however most likely you won’t mind too much as there’s plenty of T&A and blood splattering occurring, and then that weirdly misplaced segment at the end of film, which echoes back to Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) meets Wrong Turn (2013).

The crew for this production does a solid job, especially since they need to film many nighttime sequences and adjust for live changing situations, due to Mother Nature which can throw a wrinkle in things to truly want to cooperate, however the staging of scenes and lighting all work very well. The characters’ depth becomes a tad hit and miss, but the actors try most admirably to make as real as possible. A major plus comes from the decision to use old school practical effects, rather than using CGI, this doesn’t save the entire movie as the middle of the film is a bit sluggish, it stalls the movie and leads to endless dialogue segments which never progresses the story, remember telling a story in the straightest manner which makes things flow better. An important note on behind the scenes crew, if the music seems a little familiar, it’s done by Alan Howarth (Zombie Night [2013])) as sound designer/composer.

The movie actually reminds me of Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012), especially with regard to  the character Rick, and how he keeps pushing onward regardless and without care of those around himself, which I found him believable as a selfish individual. In addition, the splattering of gore and blood was a wonderful treat and not using CGI like so many productions do, nevertheless the tack-on portion involving the backwoods family of cannibals who use the Bigfoot Hoax for their own reasoning, but truly don’t know the truth, doesn’t make that much sense. In the end it does give a lot back to viewers, from Bigfoot to creature feature, and plenty of T&A.

TAGLINES:

  • The truth can kill.
  • The horror is real

http://hoaxthemovie.com/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580688/

IMDb Rating: 3.6/10

Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10