Willow Creek (2013) – Review

If you mess with the Big, he’ll mess with you Big time. Let this found footage flick show you how it’s done.

Willow Creek follows the story of Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore), an adventurous young couple in their search for Bigfoot in the raw wilderness of Trinity National Forest. Located near the remote rural town Willow Creek, the thick forest with its running creek forms a picturesque setting for the couple to retrace the legendary Bigfoot and capture the hairy monster on camera.

As it usually goes in low-budget found footage films, Jim and Kelly grab a camera and set off on an adventure that can only happen once in a lifetime. Their aim is to end their journey at the sight where the last known footage of Bigfoot was taken more than 50 years ago. Their passion and high expectations drive them to the infamous Willow Creek, where the locals have scary stories to share and Bigfoot is a huge star.

The entire movie lasts 77 minutes, which is too short for a great horror movie and too much for a horrible one. In this case, almost the first whole hour passes by with random dialogues, indifferent interviews with locals, a cold-blooded proposal rejection and fun visits to the Bigfoot tourist attractions in the area. And that was too much. It is not until the last 20 minutes or so, when the action starts and things get heated. And that was too short.

When Jim and Kelly find themselves lost inside the vast Trinity forest, their worst nightmare is likely to come true. In the pitch dark right in the middle of nowhere they’ll make an encounter that will drive them crazy. A distant knocking, a strange howling that hasn’t been heard before and branches creaking outside their tent will haunt their night and make their desire to run away even more intense.

If you watch the first hour in fast forward you certainly won’t miss anything out and you’ll get quickly to the most worthy part of the movie, when the first signs of an ominous presence appear and the couple starts to feel uneasy. If only this part could last more than 20 minutes.

I am willing to get over the fact that the adrenaline scenes are overly limited and that I spent more than 50 minutes listening to pointless blabber, as the ending left me with a bizarre mix of feelings. On one hand Willow Creek is capable of keeping you on the edge of your seat and it had great potentials of becoming an agonizing horror movie granted that Bigfoot’s presence or even hint of presence lasted more. However, a viewer and a fan would be thirsty for more…much, much more.

Gilmore’s great performance is unfortunately not enough to keep the interest alive and the great comedian – and director – Bobcat Goldthwait could certainly give us more. The movie gets ruined by its own storyline, as it fails to make it stand out and offer the terrifying choice it could have been.

And to quote Colin Clive in Frankenstein: It’s Alive! It’s Alive! 6/10 Only for it’s suspenseful ending

8 Responses to “Willow Creek (2013) – Review”
  1. Still can’t believe good old Bobcat directed this one, he is a really fascinating filmmaker for better or worse.


    • maria kriva says:

      Oh I know! It is well directed, but it’s such a shame that it’s not as suspenseful and terrifying as it could be!


      • Good on him for tackling a horror I reckon, I def will watch it but have my expectations lowered now. Did you ever see his flick Worlds Greatest Dad? That was one seriously morbid yet amazing little film.


      • maria kriva says:

        Just checked it out, it seems really, really interesting, I’ll definitely watch it, thanks for the tip. 🙂 I see Willow Creek’s lead actress plays in World’s Greatest Dad as well! She was pretty good so that’s a plus!!


      • Ah cool Maria 🙂 hopefully you dig it once you catch it, one of Robin Williams better performances of recent times if not ever.


  2. thycriticman says:

    I’ve noticed that mainstream critics tend to enjoy the build-up of suspense even if it is dull and pointless over having a lot of action. This is exactly what this seems like from your review! I had a blast with Insidious 2 despite it not being subtle in the slightest bit! Willow Creek is starting to sound like a sister to Blair Witch and while that was cool the first time…I’m not stoked to see that same style again. Not sure if I want to shell out the cash for this one considering how many other cool horror titles are being released this month and next!


    • maria kriva says:

      Yep you’re right! It’s a sister to Blair Witch and I’d say a “twin” sister to Black Water Vampire, so I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve had enough of this kind of horror! It is a really interesting concept, though! Maybe we’ll see more of Bigfoot in the future! 🙂


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  1. […] the source of moody thrillers and audience pleasing productions – with Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek coming immediately to mind – but in the case of Exists this is a dream that won’t come […]


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