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The instant reaction to Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes is to invoke the classic Seth Myers/Amy Poehler routine on Saturday Night Live. Really? Another faux found-footage horror movie? Opening on the same day as yet another one, Paranormal Activity 4? Really?
Yes, unfortunately, really. But while the fourth installment of Paramount’s hugely successful franchise will no doubt pull in plenty of pre-Halloween business, this debut feature by Corey Grant — opening in a few cities on the West Coast prior to a November home-video release — registers as a distinctly minor entry in a very fatigued genre.
As the title suggests, it revolves around the search for a Sasquatch conducted by a ragtag group consisting of a disgraced journalist (Drew Rausch) looking to parlay the experience into a reality television series; his new agey ex-girlfriend (Ashley Wood); a skeptical photographer (Rich McDonald); and a stereotypically Jewish sound man (Noah Weisberg) too often used for comic relief.
Guiding them in their misadventures in the northern California woods is a grizzled backwoodsman (Frank Ashmore) who seems more frightening than any mere Bigfoot could be.
Other than an amusing self-referential early scene in which the journalist tries to convince an African-American soundman to accompany him, only to receive a lecture about the predictable fate of black men in horror films, Bryan O’Cain and Brian Kelsey’s screenplay sticks to the usual genre clichés. As does director Grant, who pulls the by-now visual tricks in the herky-jerky handheld footage style that quickly became tired via the endless procession of Blair Witch Project knock-offs.
Never remotely scary or convincing, the proceedings also lack the gore necessary to please hard-core horror buffs, and a climactic plot twist involving the real identities of the things that go bump in the night is so ludicrous that that it makes the existence of Bigfoot seem credible by comparison.
Production: New Breed Entertainment.
Cast: Drew Rausch, Rich McDonald, Ashley Wood, Noah Weisberg, Frank Ashmore, Rowdy Kelley, Japheth Gordon, Sweetie Sherrie.
Director: Corey Grant.
Screenwriters: Bryan O’Cain, Brian Kelsey.
Director of photography: Richard Vialet.
Editor: Ralph Jean-Pierre.
Production designer: Chris Davis.
Costume designer: Tiffany Kay.
Composer: Eddie Booze.
Not rated, 89 min.
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