It’s pretty tough to find a good Bigfoot horror film these days, and whenever one really good title for the subgenre comes along, you have to hold on to it and appreciate it. Ryan Schifrin’s “Abominable” is a fantastic entry in to the sub-genre that takes Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” injects a little lunacy, and rather than Raymond Burr, we have a hairy, vicious, super strong abominable snowman terrorizing a group of girls. While on paper that sounds like the formula for a potentially silly movie, “Abominable” is stellar. It’s creepy, darkly funny, gory, and has one of the best final scenes I’ve ever seen in a horror movie, barnone.
It’s rough around the edges here and there, but “The Fiancé” manages to be a unique idea that allows for some interesting moments of horror and drama altogether. I like how director Mark Allen Michaels turns transforming in to a monster in to something of a metaphor for how the relationship between our main characters is doomed to fail. Dallas Valdez plays Michael, a wealthy man who is on the verge of losing all of his money after criminal dealings with the Russian mafia. Convinced his beautiful wife Sara, as played by Carrie Keagan, will leave him, he invites her up to a cabin in the woods to propose to her. Meanwhile a Sasquatch is on the loose, murdering people and hunting down whoever gets in its way. We follow a documentary crew and a small group of hikers as they’re all injected in to the movie to transform the mythical beast in to a valid threat.
For audiences that didn’t appreciate the year’s more subtle anti-found footage film “Willow Creek,” director Eduardo Sanchez offers a more action packed and frightening alternative involving the mythical monster. “Exists” is a creepy and vicious found footage horror film with a surprising amount of heart and depth to it, to boot. Surprisingly, director Sanchez works around the found footage gimmick, supplying a score and editing that make the film neater and less like actually found footage. This may irk hardcore enthusiasts of the sub-genre, but it’s a welcome change of pace from the typical format. Especially since Sanchez runs the risks of repeating the same beats from “Blair Witch.”
Schifrin’s horror thriller is set up with so much obligatory plot devices, and potential victims of our vicious abominable snowman, and yet, I really liked it a lot in the end. “Abominable” has that same old “Rear Window” device borrowing heavily from the formula as Matt McCoy plays Preston, a crippled man healing from a horrible accident who returns to his mountain home to grieve over his wife. Things have changed around his neck of the woods, as a vicious monster is roaming the wilderness killing animals, and Preston really can’t do much of anything in a wheelchair.
Want to make a monster movie but don’t have enough of the resources? It’s easy. Cast a cult actor for about five minutes, litter your film with nothing but character actors, and include a man in a monster suit draped in the shadows the entire time. “Sasquatch Mountain” is not a ride on Six Flags, but a pretty lame monster movie that I happened to catch on television recently. Shot in a rather annoying blue tint for the entire film, “Sasquatch Mountain” involves mercenaries, hillbilly hunters, a Blair Witch themed sub-plot, and Cerina Vincent as a hostage. I adore how these horror films try to include everything for everyone, and neither of the attempts is amusing.
I don’t care if you’re independent or big budget, all-star or aspiring actor, first time director or veteran director, comedy is hard, it’s very hard, and more often than not, chances are you’re just not going to ace a comedy film. “Suburban Sasquatch” misses the target in every conceivable manner, because it’s never coherent or fluid. It never follows a coherent storyline, and even the worst of horror comedies make sense. Not a lick of what’s here makes the slightest bit of sense. “Suburban Sasquatch” really has a lot going for it, but never delivers in what it promises. The dialogue is inaudible, the characters are boring, and the plot rarely ever holds together.