Bobcat Goldthwait’s new film Willow Creek is a marvel. It’s a found footage movie, a somewhat tarnished word in genre films nowadays, that actually manages to be scary, suspenseful, and innovative. It’s no surprise, however, when considering what a provocative filmmaker Bobcat* has proven himself to be over the years. Whether it’s a movie about oral sex on a dog (Sleeping Dogs Lie), Robin Williams cashing in on the autoerotic asphyxiation death of his son (World’s Greatest Dad) or a terminally ill man gleefully murdering repugnant symbols of the U.S. (God Bless America), the filmmaker has consistently pushed the constraints of the black comedy into darker depths. When it was announced he’d be taking on Bigfoot in a found footage movie, the only thing to expect was the unexpected.
And that’s exactly what Bobcat has delivered with Willow Creek, a movie that not only manages to be a genuine scare, but also an endearing ode to Bigfoot mythology and the colorful characters who embrace the alleged beast. Bobcat is a self-proclaimed Bigfoot enthusiast and it shows in the film. He’s not laughing at the real-life citizens of Willow Creek, the Bigfoot capitol of the world, as they tell their personal yarns about the creature (or sing about it). This love of the subject matter elevates the film’s realism and its suspense later on.
Our guides through Bigfoot country are Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore), a young couple who travel to Willow Creek so Jim can feed his lifelong love of the Bigfoot myth. For the first half of the film, Jim interviews locals (presumably for an amateur documentary) while Kelly begrudgingly goes along for the ride. She scoffs at the legend every chance she gets, though she must find something endearing in Jim’s love of it, or else she wouldn’t be tagging along. The locals they meet are a mix of the charmingly bizarre and shockingly normal, but whether they believe in Bigfoot or not, there’s no doubting this town takes the legend very seriously.
The suspense kicks in during the second half, when Jim and Kelly head deep into the surrounding forest in search of the spot where Roger Patterson and Rob Gimlin captured their infamous Bigfoot footage back in 1967 – 18 seconds of film that have sparked nearly 50 years of debate. The manner in which Bobcat builds up suspense is the very definition of slow-burn. During a nearly 20-minute long static take, the couple is terrorized in their tent in the middle of the night by god-knows-what. This remarkable sequence has some of the most effective sound design in a horror flick I’ve experienced in a while. I think everyone should go into this movie fresh as possible, so I won’t give any more details about the aural barrage that goes down. It is a brilliant and downright creepy sequence though.
What also helps makes Willow Creek so suspenseful in parts is that Jim and Kelly are incredibly likable. After spending the first half of the movie listening to their (believable) patter and talk about their aspirations, we want them to survive the night. One of the biggest problems in horror nowadays is the unlikable characters with absolutely no chemistry that we’re supposed to root for just because they’re getting killed (hey, just like in that other Bigfoot found footage movie Happy Camp that came out recently!). Spending the time to make us care about this couple is one of the wisest choices Bobcat made.
The suspense and atmosphere of dread lead up to an abrupt climax that is going to confuse the pants off of many. It reminded me of Enemy‘s sudden ending, a recent example of how to leave an audience wondering what the hell they just saw while also changing how they think about the movie. Willow Creek‘s closing minute baffled me as well, but after a quick Google search, I was satisfied to learn how it fits into the larger Bigfoot mythology. The ending, however, is a bit too abrupt for my tastes. After building up such a cool landscape with fun characters, to have it end as quickly as it did was kind of disappointing. The insane ending is wholly amazing, I just wish they had spent more time getting there.
Willow Creek proves that the life hasn’t been completely drained from found footage. It’s mix of charismatic characters, real Bigfoot lore, and atmospheric suspense (that sound design!) creates one helluva entertaining and scary ride. In my opinion Bobcat can take on any genre in any form after this one.
* In writing, the standard approach is to typically write out someone’s whole name first, then when you refer to them again, just use their surname. But it’s way too hard not to refer to the dude as just “Bobcat.”
Intrada Records has just made available the soundtrack to 1998′s ocean-based horror film Deep Rising, which featured a score by renowned composer Jerry Goldsmith (Gremlins, The Omen, Total Recall, Planet Of The Apes). The soundtrack features 35-tracks, three of which were not featured in the film, and is also nearly twice the length of the original release, which was only 33 minutes in length.
You can purchase the soundtrack here.
We have another trailer for Naughty Dog’s upcoming remaster of The Last of Us, which looks to be shaping up nicely despite how difficult it sounds like it’s been to bring it to PS4. If you haven’t played it yet, you’ll almost definitely be glad you waited, as this will be the ultimate version of the game when it releases this summer.
The Last of Us Remastered will bring with it the enhanced version of the base game, its Left Behind expansion, and most of the multiplayer DLC for $59.99.
I greatly enjoyed my time with Arkham Asylum, as I’m sure many of you did too. It had a lot of things going for it — it was smart, looked great, the combat was fluid, etc. Of its numerous strengths, the thing that stood out the most to me is the Scarecrow. When he was around, it turned into a horror game as Batman endured horrifying hallucinations induced by the Scarecrow’s drugs.
Because Rocksteady knows exactly what they’re doing, they’ve decided to bring him back in the upcoming Batman Arkham Knight.
You can see him along with a bunch of other amazing things in the gameplay video below.
If you fancy yourself some Scarecrow, you may want to grab the PS4 version, as it will be getting exclusive Scarecrow missions.
Batman: Arkham Knight is slated to release in 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Earlier tonight, at Sony’s pre-E3 press conference, we got to see what Mortal Kombat X looks like in action. No screenshots or CG trailers, just visceral, brutal, and bloody in-game footage that should satisfy most fans of the series.
In semi-related news, I noticed a lot of you weren’t terribly fond of the choice of music for the reveal trailer, so if rap isn’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that this drops it so we can better hear the glorious crunch of broken spines and wet slaps of organs hitting the ground. Enjoy.
When I watch this debut trailer for Suda 51′s bloody upcoming fighter Let it Die, I can’t help but wonder if this ridiculously brutal fighting game is being made with the mission of stealing Mortal Kombat’s krown crown as the goriest fighter ever. If that’s the goal, Suda 51 well on his way to enjoying a tear-out-his-spine victory. Also, while much of this trailer is comprised of live-action footage, there is a bit of actual gameplay mixed in there, too.
I’m entirely unsure of what’s going on here, but it looks like the guy with the face mask is trying his best to cleanse a very dirty building of dirty murderers because he needs their clothes.
We now know what that mysterious Project Beast game is, and now that I know what it is, it may very well be my Game of the Show. The actual title is Bloodborne — that might sound familiar — and it’s a dark fantasy game from the folks that brought us Dark Souls II. This game looks fantastic, and I’m not only saying that because I’m a total gorehound.
Here’s an official synopsis:
Face your fears as you search for answers in the ancient city of Yharnam, now cursed with a strange endemic illness spreading through the streets like wildfire. Danger, death and madness lurk around every corner of this dark and horrific world, and you must discover its darkest secrets in order to survive.
I did not see this coming. Apparently, Epidemic isn’t the only Dead Island game that’s in the works, because Deep Silver has just revealed Dead Island 2, developed by Yager. It looks as if they’ve finally decided to eschew from the more serious tone of the first two games in the series in favor of a cheeky, over-the-top style that (I think) better suits it.
Here’s what the sequel is all about, according to its press release:
Several months after the events on Banoi, the United States military has put the Golden State under full quarantine. Now a restricted zone, California has become a bloody paradise for those who refuse to leave their homes and an action-packed playground for renegades who seek adventure, glory and a fresh start. Combining the classic Dead Island elements of immersive close combat, action and role-playing, Dead Island 2 features crazy, never-before-seen handcrafted weapons and over-the-top characters in taking players from the iconic Golden Gate to the celebrated beachfront boardwalk of southern California’s Venice Beach.
And here’s the trailer.
Sony showed off a bit more from their upcoming PS4 exclusive, The Order: 1886, and this time the footage we’ve been gifted with shows the game’s roots in horror. The story revolves around a war between humans and “half-breeds,” which they describe as a “subspecies of what humanity becomes after a few centuries of evolving in a different direction.” See what these creatures are capable of in the demo footage below.
The Order: 1886 will come exclusively to the PS4 in 2015.
One of the more interesting horror films premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival was no doubt A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a release from Elijah Wood's company SpectreVision that's being billed as the world's first Iranian Vampire Western.
After months of silence the flick has finally found distro! Variety reports Kino Lorber has acquired the North American rights to the film a full five months after its world premiere at Sundance.
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night stars Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnó and Milad Eghbali.
Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps and other sordid souls, is a bastion of depravity and hopelessness where a lonely vampire stalks its most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom… blood red.
Just two weeks remain until the Season 4 premiere of "Teen Wolf," and knowing how rabid the show's fans are, MTV has released yet another promo to whet our appetites. Just keep moving forward, don't look back, and everything will be fine!
Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, and Holland Roden star along with new regulars Arden Cho, Shelley Hennig, and Ryan Kelley as Deputy Parrish. Season 4 also sees the return of Jill Wagner as Kate Argent, JR Bourne as Chris Argent, and Ian Bohen as Peter Hale.
The new season kicks off Monday, June 23rd, at 10PM on MTV.
"Teen Wolf" Season 4 Overview:
In Season 4, still healing from tragic losses, Scott (Posey), Stiles (O'Brien), Lydia (Roden), and Kira (Cho) begin a new semester of school with more human worries than supernatural, while also trying to help their new friend Malia (Hennig) integrate back into society. But Kate Argent’s surprising resurrection brings a new threat to Beacon Hills along with the emergence of another mysterious enemy known simply as The Benefactor.
In news that no one saw coming, Rainbow Six is returning with a brand new installment called Rainbow Six Siege. The game will pit two teams of players against each other with one team playing as the hostage takers and the other as the guys who are tasked with freeing the hostage(s). I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never played a Rainbow Six game. This one certainly looks intriguing, so it might soon change that.
Rainbow Six Siege will release on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
I scheduled my entire day around the last 10 minutes. There’s a lot going on at E3, but what I most wanted to see was the new gameplay video for the upcoming survival horror title The Evil Within.
Continuing horror’s tradition of reacting to the generation before it, Shinji Mikami is reacting against the action orientation of current horror games by returning to the strategy element that made him famous in the Resident Evil franchise.
Strategy, that is the major element showcased by developers today. They were very clear that fleeing enemies is often the best choice for overcoming an encounter. In this game you will need to count your bullets and pick your battles.
The Evil Within's strategy element is so entrenched in the game it even comes into play when using a health pack. While the small health packs will have no adverse effects, a large one will cause the player’s vision to be distorted and make them more susceptible to nearby enemies.
The Evil Within was recently delayed from an August release to October 21st. To learn more, visit the official The Evil Within website.
If you’re itching for some new tunes, Sumthing Else Music Works is offering the soundtrack to Dead Rising 3′s latest DLC, which wasrevealed and released today. The official Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX +α soundtrack comes packed with 35 original songs from Dead Rising composer Oleksa Lozowchuk, along with numerous other artists, including Traz Damji, QUAZR, Stu Goldberg and SKY 13. You can get it for free over here.
“The Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix soundtrack explores classic sounds, memorable themes, and frenetic beats, mixing them all together into an arcade soundscape of old and new”, revealed Oleksa Lozowchuk in a press release. “It’s music made to strike a chord of Capcom nostalgia and put a smile on your face!”
Last week Vanity Fair took a look back at the making of the 1984 Ghostbusters, which carried a few little juicy nuggets about the long-gestured Ghostbusters III.
The biggest is that they confirm Bloody Disgusting’s exclusive scoop that one of the new Busters will be Oscar, the son of Dana (Sigourney Weaver) and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray).
For example, Sigourney Weaver says that during one relatively recent conversation with Ivan Reitman, “I said, I have one condition want my son Oscar [from Ghostbusters II] to be a Ghostbuster, and he said, ‘We’ve already done that.’”
The magazine also confirmed that many of the original cast would like to return, something that’s been openly acknowledged over the years of development. The best little tid-bit is that Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) is in prison and that Winston is the C.E.O. of the Busters! Check this…
All of the original cast members interviewed for this article tell VF Hollywood that they’d happily participate in a third installment, and several speculated about what their characters would be up to today. Rick Moranis on the fate of Louis Tully: “He’s in prison, a cellmate of Bernie Madoff’s. They compete to see who can make their bed first in the morning.” Ernie Hudson prophesies that Winston Zeddmore would be “the C.E.O. of the Ghostbusters franchise. I just hope that he wouldn’t be on a walker or [in] a wheelchair.”
He adds wistfully: “And hopefully we’ll still be able to wear the backpacks.”
There’s plenty more on that article here.
Right now Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer is rumored to be in talks to direct, but before his name was linked to the project Sony had their eyes set to LEGO duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
In a separate article over at Screen Crush they explain why decided to ultimately pass on the project.
Right now, we’re just super tired and we want to take a break. We’re doing a TV show with Will Forte. So, we don’t really know what we’re gonna do next, we just know we can’t jump into another movie like that right away.
I think that there’s a good ‘Ghostbusters’ movie out there. It’s such a fun franchise. Obviously, we don’t have the same attitude as people who hate stuff before it’s even made. It’s a fun idea and it’s a fun world and I think it will work.
It’s nice to see how supportive Lord and Miller are of the project, and that many of the original cast members are excited to return. Clearly, there’s a fun and unique idea out there that’s good enough to grab Weaver’s attention and pull Moranis out of his long retirement. Clearly, these people don’t have to return, which only adds fuel to the fire that something special is brewing under the streets of New York City.
Ubisoft is doing a wonderful job with their next extraordinarily ambitious open-world game, the post-apocalyptic shooter RPG The Division. In this lovely — albeit mildly depressing — CG trailer for The Division, we get to see how the world was affected by the virus that turned it into the desolate free-for-all we witnessed in the footage that was revealed earlier today.
The Division is scheduled to release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One sometime in 2015.
Ubisoft kicked off their pre-E3 media briefing today with the opening five minutes of Far Cry 4. It looks absolutely stunning, though I wouldn’t expect anything less from the team that made the ridiculously gorgeous Far Cry 3. It also gives us a better look at the game’s resident bad guy. This guy has big, Vaas-sized shoes to fill, but I don’t think he’ll have much trouble doing that.
Shot in black and white, the feature debut of Ana Lily Amirpour, is set in an imaginary Iranian underworld with elements of neo-noir and spaghetti Western. It was the opening-night film at the New Directors/New Films event in New York.
Argo actress Sheila Vand stars as a vampire along with Arash Marandi and Dominic Rains, Mozhan Marno, Rome Shadanloo, Marshall Manesh and Milad Eghbali.
Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release for the film in October, followed by a digital and home media release early next year. It plans to partner with Vice Media for promotion and social-media outreach campaigns.
There was a little something for horror fans at this year’s E3, especially those who enjoy things a little campy. In a press conference focused on tongue-in-cheek fun, Microsoft revealed DLC for the Xbox exclusive Dead Rising 3.
Falling in-line with the less than serious tone of the Microsoft outing, Capcom’s latest DLC for the franchise makes fun of itself in its War and Peace of a title, Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha, a play on the company’s many Street Fighter 2 versions of years past.
Capcom is celebrating its 31st anniversary and is using the new Dead Rising DLC to celebrate its history. Players can cosplay as characters from across Capcom’s storied past. From Street Fighter to Final Fight, players can expect a hellacious romp through touching nostalgia as they slay zombies while being transported to a time when Ryu ruled the world.
And then the bomb dropped. As is the trend with today’s software announcements, the Dead Rising 3 DLC is available right NOW, only on Xbox Live for $9.99.
Sony Online Entertainment has released a new trailer for their DayZ clone H1Z1 that should speak to anyone who’s befriended another player online only to relish in stabbing them in the back so you can steal their precious cargo. It’s a dick move, and one that I’ve been on the receiving end of more than once. It also makes these games unpredictable, since there essentially aren’t any rules.
It’s the wild west, only with more zombies and clunky animations.