Does Bigfoot exist?
If you ask either of my sons, they’ll recount multiple stories they saw on Animal Planet, and tell me in details about the reenactments that PROVE Bigfoot is real. I thought my kids were going to learn about animals. I didn’t realize this would be one of their founding memories of horror. (NOTE: My oldest just took a special writing class this summer and wrote his book on a Yeti attack in Russia. It’s good, and I’ll be posting it in a few days.)
I didn’t tell my son, but I just recently just got a screener for the upcoming film Hunting the Legend. It’s a found footage film that manages to play well in the genre, but there’s nothing new added here. The story is more interesting than older found footage films (I say that because there is this new trend that found footage don’t have to be atmosphere and absolute snoozefests for 90% of their run time.) and is an exciting buildup. Unfortunately, the payoff is just ok.
Hunting the Legend is the story of young Chris (Christopher Copeland) that saw his father attacked by Sasquatch in 2008. He was pulled off into the forest never to be seen again. In 2013, Chris is 18 and decides to document his search for the mysterious creature that took his father. He enlists his girlfriend Hannah Wallace and his buddy Jeff Causey (along with a couple others) to aid him in his search.
Unlike many found footage films, we see a couple side stories which I liked. The kids needed weapons and sought out a shady man to do business with, and they rented a tracking dog as well. The crew interviews locals about the creature (and this leads them into the woods in search of a man that lives “off the land”). The kids wander around a while until they start experiencing some creepy stuff, and they try to survive the night.
This was found footage so the usual questions like “Why are they still taping?” get asked. Besides the typical night vision excuse, they also have GoPros strapped to their heads. I love this trend in found footage as both Afflicted and VHS 2 utilized the cameras wonderfully. It’s nothing new, but it’s a welcome addition to a genre that seems to keep falling back into the same formulas.
Hunting the Legend manages to be a good watch with compelling side stories, but the payoff is (at best) ok. It’s one of those films that really does a good job at making you think something is about to happen and then then pulls that out from underneath your feet. As the film builds, I was ready for stuff to go insane. It does, but…it was ok. I’ve rarely seen a found footage film have it’s first 2 acts build up momentum as effectively as this one, but I don’t know how well that bodes for a rewatch.
Hunting the Legend is a worth a look. It comes out on DVD July 8.