We begin this October’s horror season with Bigfoot. Because, why not? BIGFOOT IS REAL, YA’LL. I mean maybe. I guess? Well, it could be… maybe.
There have always been lame, TV-movie quality Bigfoot movies. And we must never forget Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues, because wow. But as far as quality Sasquatch cinema, we don’t really have much to speak of.
In 2014, two interesting filmmakers tried their own approach to the Bigfoot myth, and curiously both decided to go the found footage route. Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek took campers in search of Bigfoot, getting lost in the woods, and eventually getting terrorized by the monster. It’s a slow burn thriller that takes a long damn time to get going but when it gets to the goods it’s surprisingly unsettling. Released in most places that same year, Eduardo Sanchez brought us Exists, a film with much in common with Willow Creek but a decidedly different approach to how it goes about achieving its thrills. Whereas Willow Creek is a creeping terror, Exists is visceral, fast-paced, and action packed, mixing elements of the adventure genre into its horror story.
Sanchez started his career as the co-director of The Blair Witch Project along with Daniel Myrick, a film which it’s safe to say changed horror cinema forever with the advent of the found footage sub-genre. Whether you like The Blair Witch Project or not – I love it – you can’t deny its place in horror history as one of the most influential films of the genre. Since Blair, both Sanchez and Myrick (working separately now) have struggled to find that next film to put them back on the map. Beyond The Blair Witch Project, I quite like Myrick’s ambitious war horror film The Objective. And as for Sanchez, I think Exists is his most polished solo directorial effort. It’s nothing fancy but it’s effective and surprisingly fun. Sometimes I don’t think the found footage approach helps the film, but one sequence involving a camper trailer that’s tossed down a hill is very cool. The legendary monster is well done, too. It’s not as scary as Goldthwait’s Willow Creek Bigfoot, but Sanchez’s big hairy guy is still pretty cool, chasing people and breaking skulls in a fit of rage.
It’d make for the scariest Jack Link’s Messin’ with Sasquatch commercial ever.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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