Last week I had the chance to sit in on a screening of Willow Creek, presented by the director himself, Bobcat Goldthwait. Having seen World’s Greatest Dad 2009, and God Bless America 2011, two films that are very different from Willow Creek, I was unsure what to expect from the found footage horror film. Even though Goldthwait has dipped his hands into different genres, all of his films are dark, funny, and pastiche—Willow Creek included. When I asked him about his transcendence of genres, he said all of his films are “thematic” but that he is driven to “make different films,” joking that his paycheck suffers for it. Maybe he should be doing more mainstream stuff, he suggested, to which the audience groaned and assured him not.
Willow Creek follows his thematic filmmaking and incorporates his bizarre sense of humor. It takes viewers on a found footage ride through the Trinity forest, where the legendary Bigfoot had previously been sighted. The film follows a head-strong male and his apt-but-feminine girlfriend on their journey to re-discover the story, and hopefully, Bigfoot him (or her) self. The film is as funny as it is suspenseful—an interesting mix that pushes horror and comedy genres and tropes.
The film is just 67 cuts, a very real feeling of “found footage” One of the most suspenseful scenes, a 19 minute cut in a tent, took the actors only 3 takes. But with Bigfoot lurking about, who’d want to be in that tent? And while I can personally speak for Goldthwait’s live humor, a Willow Creek will definitely have you on the edge of your seat, and laughing.