A few things to understand about this movie from director Mark Allen Michaels, it’s his second feature, though his first in the horror genre, and his first attempt as a screenwriter. The Fiancé mixes a few genres together, first horror (creature feature), next comedy, smattering of romance, and a touch of drama, now sadly it does not all mix fittingly well, but makes for an interesting venture for one to enjoy, as the adversary includes a Sasquatch.  Mark stated that he initially got the concept from hearing recorded sounds of Bigfoot on a radio show, one night when unable to sleep and it made his hair stand up, and there the storyline fell into place. It took merely six weeks to finalize the screenplay and prep for shooting in the Topanga Canyon, California among a few other places, though worth noting this DIY project and made on a nothing scrap budget, which mostly fills into the creature, practical, and other special effects. Indican Pictures secured the rights for distribution and worldwide releases on all media platforms.

This reviewer has seen quite a few Bigfoot and its cousins (Sasquatch and Yeti) of the beastly creature, though none, which transforms their victims into their species, it seems someone combined that with lycanthropy (werewolves). Some of the films in this genre include Willow Creek [2013] and Exists [2014] do show the violent side of the creatures, but no transformation, and hence this movie possibly breaks new ground which contains over 130 films in this vein of these types of creatures.

The movie starts with a tiny documentary crew running for their lives from terrorizing animal sounds and then a quick cut to a small group of hikers as they’re all injected into to the movie to transform the mythical beast into a valid threat. However, nowhere close to the central characters just as an expert on the study of cryptozoology of Bigfoot and is in a makeup chair giving his impersonation of the sounds a Yeti, Sasquatch, and of course a Bigfoot make, and sadly it dissolves from any seriousness of a horror flick into mindless filler moment, frankly an ugh feeling. This expert does it for a television show called Monster Mania, which feels just a tad disjointed from the rest of the film. The core of The Fiancé deals with the relationship between Sara (Carrie Keagan (V/H/S Viral [2014])) and her boyfriend Michael (Dallas Valdez (Valentine DayZ [2018])) amidst a series of Bigfoot sightings that soon turn into attacks, occurring near a cabin where Michael plans for quality time with his girl, Sara. Upon arriving at the cabin, Sara gets attacked by a Sasquatch, why, would a secluded animal suddenly provoke itself, let alone attack and somehow infect and change her into a beast. No need to understand the reason why, rather sit back and work through the flashback sequences, far too many, which show their budding relationship and Michael’s involvement in her daddy’s Russian business crime affairs, each time they break tension building moments. Michael takes a beating in this movie, continually attacked, and with pause between time allowing for cutaways and flashbacks before the character learns to defend and protect himself. Valdez’ portrayal of the Michael feels stiff, a tad to wooden, and lack of emotions for his fiancé turned murderous monster and he is quite nonchalant over it all. The gore effects help significantly with the film, and benefit from biting off fingers and Sara gnawing through his shoe resulting in Michael cutting off his own big toe, though that becomes just a few things he loses, more crushing still befall him.

Let’s first start with creature effect artists Michelle Sfarzo (Feral [2017]), Toryn Reed (The Remains [2016]), and Joseph Pitruzzello (House by the Lake [2017]) who made the Sara character truly look increasing ugly and the of course the actual Sasquatch (Douglas Tait (Havenhurst [2016])) all did a very fine job. From here, though the course fluctuates in a strange direction likely due to the lack of budget and trying to constrain oneself from going too far and hence repeating the chase moments between Michael and Sara, it falls into a bit boredom, the small location went against the filmmakers. The framing and lighting choices actually work very well together and raise that portion of the film. As for the music score, like many independent films the music shifts dramatically herein using first classical and then jazzy riffs.

The film works quickly with the short runtime of 79-minutes, though a redeeming quality, however the back-story fails to connect a lot of the story but look at all the elements included for your enjoyment: a love story, Russian mafia, murders, killer Sasquatch with ability to infect others with the spread of a rabies version of themselves and then cheesy dialogue of comedy. Let’s wrap this all up and describe this flick with some very nice practical gore effects though it seems to be afraid of the brutality and shows some confusion, but it could a lot worse – likely a one time viewing.



IMDb Rating: 2.4/10

Baron’s Rating: 2.5/10