Blair Bigfoot meets Troll Hunter via House of the Devil is basically all you need to know regarding this little indie about a giant monster. I went in not expecting much. And while I indeed didn't get much, I was surprisingly not disappointed by Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes. I'm not a fan of found footage, and the concept of searching for the sasquatch has never appealed to me, but I have to say the filmmakers did a pretty good job with this film.
Unknowns do some decent acting, given the limitations of the genre, and Drew Rausch as the lead investigator Sean Reynolds, does a bang-up job of keeping us along for the ride as he and his ragtag camera crew do the dumbest things possible in pursuit of producing the ultimate investigative documentary. Rich McDonald plays Sean's right hand man, while Ashley Wood and Noah Weisberg round out the cast as a Mother Earth -type psychic and their production assistant. The four join forces with a bearded, grizzled old mountain man who says he's an eyewitness to the habitat of the mythical creature, and off everyone goes, camera and sound rolling.
The first order of business is to locate and retrieve the dead body of a baby sasquatch the mountain man claims to have seen, and which was the lure to get the crew out into his neck of woods in the first place. That, and a $75,000 payment for the evidence, is all anyone needs to risk their lives and before long lives are indeed risked — and lost.
As with most found footage films, there are lots of noises, boo scares and camera shakes to keep everything in a constant state of confusion. Normally, I would hate this sort of thing, but the dialogue and characters were interesting enough to command at least half my attention. What's more, I appreciated the use of in-camera tricks and better than average editing skills. It made the movie feel more cinematic to me, which I appreciate: most found footage films feel so thrown together, while here it appears some actual thought to shots and composition went into this.
Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes isn't really scary, though. There is some blood, not much gore, and a decent level of suspense, but I never got invested enough in the people or the plot to be worried about the safety of anyone. What's more, we never learn enough about the Bigfoot to fear him (or her) as a villain. There is kind of a neat twist at the end, and since the film is super-shirt (89 minutes) it's no chore to make it there.
Overall, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes is a decent time-waster, and absolutely the kind of thing you can enjoy and have on in the background while doing chores and you won't miss a thing.
= = =
Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson