Fear the Forest (2009)
By: Devon B. on November 22, 2014 | Comments
Lost Empire | All Regions, NTSC | 4:3 | English DD 2.0 | 110 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Matthew Bora
Starring: Matthew Bora, Anna Kendrick, Don Evans, Jared Michalski, Elana Safer
Screenplay: Matthew Bora
Country: USA
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those that feel there are already enough shoddy bigfoot movies and those that don't. The former group are a pack of dickheads.

Fear the Forest starts with a rash of hunters looking to score some big money by baggin' bigfoot. Two hunters think they get a Sasquatch that was out for a walk with its young, but then can't find the fallen 'foot. Years later a group of friends venture out to the same area, just as a creature gets spotted in the vicinity. Their camping trip doesn't go to plan when they learn that the sightings weren't just drunk yokels imagining things.

Despite being released last year Fear the Forest was clearly made quite some time ago because this is a shot on video wonder. It's not slick like a contemporary SOV wonder, this is old school, full frame, cheap ass SOV that looks like it cost about $2. Thankfully the cast is big for a movie of this scope, so even though the acting quality varies wildly, at least there were a lot of different actors and actresses. The editing is a bit choppy, but other than that and the SOV aesthetic, Fear the Forest is more competently put together than most movies of this calibre. The script is still brimming with nonsense, but at least the nonsense was all strung together in a cohesive fashion.

Fear the Forest gets bogged down early on, so it's tough going at first. As the film progresses it veers more into deliriously entertaining gibberish, and ultimately it's a winner because its bigfeet are awesome. The bigfeet have different appearances (this is explained somewhat in the film) and all of them look fabulous. The young bigfoot looks like a cut-rate version of the standard cinematic Sasquatch, and the adult bigfeet look like rejects from Where the Wild Things Are. They're not as laughable as the bigfoot in Search for the Beast, but they're still wacky. These bigfeet have point of view shots similar to those found in Night of the Demon, yet sadly they don't do an evisceration dance. Seeing these Muppett-headed monsters dance with entrails might've been too much awesome even in a movie like Fear the Forest, but I still consider it a missed opportunity.

Like every movie ever made Fear the Forest would've benefitted from more bigfoot action, or even better there could've been some trims to remove the padding so that the bigfoot footage made up a larger percentage of the film's runtime. The movie also makes the mistake of not ending when the story's over, which accounts for a good portion of the padding to the run time, but for the most part I enjoyed it. There's no denying it's a dumb, no budget, SOV bit of fluff, but I forgave all its flaws whenever bigfoot appeared.
The Disc
Fear the Forest is a 1.33:1 SOV movie, so there's video haze; some artefacts, particularly in darker scnes; and pulsing light, but I assume all the flaws are the fault of the master elements. The audio has a little distortion, and one classroom scene is very muffled, but for the most part the audio is fine for such a modestly budgeted movie. The DVD comes with the trailer, 50 minutes of interviews, two music videos, some deleted scenes which also include outtakes and a bio on the director that needed some more proofreading. The interviews are somewhat interesting, but most of my amusement came from delusions of grandeur like one guy who says the only other director in the same league as Fear the Forest's is Hitchcock.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Clearly a long time was spent getting this movie finished and released, and while it's no Bad Taste, Fear the Forest is a lot more fun than most movies where the budget was a single digit figure. It's essential viewing for anyone that ever thought Jim Henson should've made a bigfoot movie, and fans of silly, cheap horror movies should also take a look.
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