Now if you’re anything like me you watch regularly the Animal Planet documentary show, Finding Bigfoot. And if you don’t watch that show, what else have you been doing with your Sunday evenings?
Oh you watch, regular television… I guess… that’s cool too.
Regardless, Bigfoot for some reason has become a more prevalent mainstream icon than he has been previously, and I attribute it to that show. Sadly this movie is nothing like that.
You know something? The Blair Witch Project ruined American horror. They made the “found footage” format popular, and I can’t forgive them for it. I personally never thought Blair Witch was all that scary, but oh boy did it make a whole lot of money. And now films like Cloverfield and Quarantine and others are aping the style, trying desperately to provide a logical reason why our protagonists would even have cameras on them in the first place.
Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes starts off with a decent enough reason for there to be cameras- a film crew of a disheveled, down and out former TV star make their way to the woods of Northern California where a man has claimed to have shot and killed a juvenile Sasquatch.
The TV show host decides to take along an ex-girlfriend as his producer (she is a spiritualist so this stuff is right up her alley), his friend as a cameraman, and some nerd as a sound guy. This guy is very clearly a lost brother of Jesse Eisenberg.
They make their way to the old guy’s place and lo and behold some freaky shit starts to go down. Though, this wouldn’t be a horror movie if it didn’t.
Here’s the major flaws of this film and any film in the found footage genre. Any time something spooky starts going down, the camera is jerked around and everything is hardly lit and most of the action is lost to the viewer.
I know this is considered more realistic and all but really, honestly, I don’t find this the least bit appealing when watching a movie. I suppose you can argue that it buffs up the immersion process because it makes you feel like you’re watching something happen to real people, but really the only time that works is if you feel any attachment to the people on screen. It’s hard to put yourself in their shoes, let alone behind their camera.
There is some shoddy exposition and character development at the beginning of the film, but because this is a modern horror movie where filmmakers think that if shit doesn’t pick up quick we’ll just turn off the movie, so they shove all of the things we need to know about the soon to be dead heroes right in the first five minutes.
If you watched my video review on Insidious, I talked about it being too slow, well this movie is a case of being too fast. You’ve got to find that middle-ground that creates lasting effects for the audience without boring them quickly to tears.
At the end of the film, SPOILERS, it turns out that the things chasing them the whole time weren’t even bigfoots. They were… I’m not sure actually. It’s implied that they’re creatures, sure, but it could also seem as though they’re ghosts, as there’s times where the creatures pull a guy through a window without touching him. It implies that they could be aliens, as everywhere they go they emit a giant white light. Or, as some have speculated on the net, they’re windigos, aka human cannibals who by eating human flesh have become possessed as an evil, cannibalistic spirit monster.
Also it might just be a person. Cause right here in this shot we can see a bloody hand quickly wipe itself onto Mark Zuckerberg’s face. The more I look at this shot though the more I think it’s not supposed to be there. I mean, they’re splattering blood all over his face and stuff, right? It’s an offscreen effects shot. But then this normal ass, human hand just shows up. I think it’s one of the key grips or production assistants helping get the blood all over his face and he thought his hand wouldn’t be in the shot. And for some reason they couldn’t do another take so they just left it in there? I dunno man.
The major flaws with this film and films like it is that there’s nothing new to see here. Most of the time the monster is put into the shadows so all he does is make noises and rustling bushes and shit. You could replace him with any other monster and it’d be the same fucking movie. Here’s a shot from Blair Witch. Here’s a shot from Bigfoot. Could you tell which was which? No. No you couldn’t because it’s just jerky cameras.
So then why do these movies keep being made? Or for that matter, why does this movie in particular deserve to have a sequel being made. Who saw this movie enough to warrant a sequel? I was just browsing through Hulu one night and happened upon this flick with hopes that it would be so bad it was good.
Well, I was not disappointed in it being bad, but it never got so bad it was good. See, it just felt cheap. The Blair Witch project, scary or not, at least it had atmosphere. It had a slow burn effect that creeped up on you at all times. You never felt like you were safe, or that the people in the movie were safe. It was eerie. And while for me it might not have delivered on everything everyone else found so appealing about it, I will at least be willing to admit that it’s a watchable film. It feels real, and it is nerve wracking. It might not be as scary to me as it is to others, but I might just be jaded at this point, so I’ll certainly give a movie props when it deserves it.
Bigfoot doesn’t deserve anything. Could this have been a better film if it had been shot traditionally instead of pov? Possibly, but it still wouldn’t have made the plot make any more sense. Who were the bad guys? It’s implied that bigfoot is actually a protector, not an enemy. But then, were there ever any bigfoots to begin with? The whole time it could have been the other… things.
So ultimately what was the conflict? Well, the people making the documentary wanted to finish their documentary, which they never got to do. The documentary host wanted to come back from his previous failures, and he never does that. The only conflict that is resolved is that they learned, through their untimely deaths, not to stay in a place where bad shit keeps happening, just for personal gain. But that’s one of the most cliche horror trope there is.
This film didn’t have enough gore to be a slasher flick, and it didn’t have enough scares to be a good found footage movie. It’s just a regurgitation of the most common things we see in a horror movie all the time.
This is what makes a horror movie bad- it’s when the tropes are too heavy handed, nothing original is done with them, and the pacing is terrible.
This film gets two pumpkins out of ten.