I have a huge soft spot for found footage horror films since I saw The Blair Witch Project in what I consider to be the best format – on a dodgy pirate VHS before all the major hype and before it came out in the cinema.
I’ve also managed to convince my other half that The Last Broadcast was a documentary – twice! He was majorly pissed the second time. Might go for the hat trick soon. It’s been a while…
Anyhoo, I’m always happy to have a look at any new found-footage movies that come my way. In this one Jim drags his girlfriend Kelly on a camping trip exploring the ‘Bigfoot Trail’ and visiting the location where the infamous Patterson–Gimlin film was shot in 1967. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite, the film realistically comes across as a couple filming each other (unlike some other movies which can seem faked and forced). Unfortunately the film comes across as a clone of Blair Witch, with the couple visiting sites and talking to locals along the way before creepy things start happening in a tent in the dark.
Probably the best thing about the film is the acting of the two leads despite the clichéd manner of the film – all the boxes are ticked in terms of crazy man telling them to turn back, lost and walking in circles in the woods, scared by a noise that turns out to be an innocent animal etc.
The pacing is veeeeeeery slow and I couldn’t help have a sense of ‘Been there, done that, seen it all before!’ throughout the whole movie. Bryce Johnson as Jim and Alexie Gilmore as Kelly manage to pull it off though and are believable as a long-established couple on the road together.
I felt so bad for Jim when Kelly refused his proposal (nope, not a spoiler – it’s basically an excuse to be filming inside the tent!).
Also a lot of the more tense moments happen very quietly in the dark from the viewpoint of inside the tent. Unless your room is silent (unfortunately I had a fishtank bubbling quietly on my right and my husband who was bored senseless snoring on my left), you’re gonna witness a whole lot of nothing happening for a good chunk of the film. That’s rather unfortunate as the lead pair truly seem terrified of what is out in the woods. Except from my perspective, they were petrified of the otherwordly foghorn noises emanating from my hubby. To be fair it’s a sound not for the faint-hearted!
It’s not the worst found-footage I’ve seen. But if you’ve seen one before then you know exactly what’s going to happen and it’s probably not worth bothering with this one. For a first timer tho, it might be a half-decent intro into the sub-genre. I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek it out however, could do better!