HOAX (a.k.a. Bigfoot) *** USA 2019 Dir: Matt Allen. 94 mins
“I don’t wanna scare anyone but I’m going to give it to you straight about Bigfoot…” Matt Allen’s feature debut wears its influences on its sleeve, opening with a virtual remake of the exposition-heavy campfire sequence from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, complete with archetypal 80’s slasher-type characters getting shagged and getting slaughtered while hiking out in South West Colorado.
The latest take on Sasquatch backwoods horror, it’s sprinkled with other 70’s / 80’s horror quotes and comes adorned with a splendid Alan Howarth synth score in line with his pulsing soundtracks for the HALLOWEEN sequels. An opportunistic TV producer (Ben Browder) keen to cash in on the opening massacre puts together a crew to capture cast-iron evidence of Bigfoot – the team including an alcoholic TV reporter (Shoshana Bush), a primate specialist who needs the money (Cheryl Texiera) and a sarcastic, sceptical ex-Marine for security (played by sci-fi / horror veteran Brian Thompson).
There is a degree of meandering around the woods, but this slickly made flick has a solid cast (plus a warm cameo from Adrienne Barbeau to accompany some of THE FOG references) and visceral attack scenes aided by William Munns’ fine creature design. There’s a streak of wit, including characters mulling over potential titles for their potential ratings winner: we like YETI DOES DALLAS and THE HILLS HAVE FUR. The final act detours into eco horror and TEXAS CHAINSAW-esque grue (“You people ruin everything you touch!”) and it’s a good deal more fun than most of the low budget Sasquatchploitation fare.
Review by Steven West