Desperate for credibility, internet journalist Brian Emond (playing what is presumably a heightened version of himself) desperately wants the vacant anchor role at the website he works for. Losing out, he and his camera operator Zach (director Zach Lamplugh) are instead sent to the Appalachian Mountains to interview cryptozoologist Jeff (Stephenson), self-proclaimed Cryptid Commander and Bigfoot Hunter. Out in the woods, Brian’s scepticism is tested, but will he get his big story?
Taking its inspiration from the sensationalist, VICE-like documentaries that adorn the internet seeking clickbait, Bigfoot Hunters is a faux-documentary comedy/horror that is neither funny nor scary enough. And the issues largely stem from a lack of clarity in the filmmaker’s intentions.
There are some effective comedic moments, and the story goes off on an interesting tangent later in the film. But there are too many misplaced gags peppered throughout; there’s a drunken redneck cousin who is there to, unsuccessfully, offer some light relief and Jeff, while going through some sort of mental breakdown, has begun drinking his own urine. It all feels a little misguided and confused.
What frustrates is that when Bigfoot Hunters reverts to its quieter moments the filmmakers find more success. The characters themselves are moderately likeable and their interaction, while a little earnest and awkward at times, is mildly endearing. And you find yourself wanting the best for them.
But then it’s as if everyone remembers why they’re here and we’re back to the ‘point and laugh’ humour where the film began.
There may still be gems to discover in the found footage and mockumentary genre, but Bigfoot Hunters isn’t one of them. It might make you smile on occasion, but that’s not really enough, is it?
Bigfoot Hunters is available on digital outlets.