The lighter first half - as we get to know and like the main characters - recalls the substantial lead-in to the horror of the much more effective outback thriller Wolf Creek (2005). Yet, although there's also a hint of Deliverance (1972), the main debt is obviously paid to the classic lost-in-the-woods horror The Blair Witch Project (1999). Many of the film's later effects, including its sound design, seem to be lifted directly from that found footage benchmark. A nineteen-minute long scene of the fraught couple crouching in their tent is at first creepy but soon drifts into the nonsensically boring and one suspects was partly a technical exercise, perhaps inspired by the micro-budget.
The inherent ridiculousness of the object of the couple's investigation beggars substantial belief. Although Willow Creek at first follows Kelly in its scepticism, casting a jaundiced eye over the tourist tack, increasingly we're supposed to take the threat more seriously. However, Bigfoot is on a level with Nessie and - though Ted Danson once tried to make a film about that topic too (see 1996's Loch Ness) - the inherent silliness of the concept begins to rub off. It soon becomes difficult to dismiss the suspicion that Goldthwait had set out to make a comic horror but forgot to insert any laughs.