Field Freak (2016)

AKA – The Monster Outside – Hüte dich vor der Dunkelheit
Director: Stephen Folker
Starring: Glenn Harston, Dave Juehring, Trena Penson, Tristan Coppola, Jim Nieciecki. USA. 1h 30m

The cover for this indie horror is mightily impressive but I think that’s where the budget stopped, still it got my attention and luckily I’m a sucker for indie movies and despite it’s poor attempt at being a convincing horror, it actually a loveable movie.

I do have a soft spot for bigfoot movies and films that include one legged black guys who make root beer in old bathtubs out back, but maybe because of my magnetism to bigfoot, or maybe I just like bad movies, it’s hard to justify why I can see all the bad points in Field Freak but still have some warmth for the film. Sometimes you’ll discover a b movie with no love or care, they either try too hard to create outside of their budget or like this family horror, they just admit that they don’t have a huge budget and just set out to make something enjoyable with a lot of heart, it won’t win over a majority but it is what it is.

So the Bear family are heading out to a remote cabin to live for a few months while patriarch Charles (Juehring) finishes his new novel. Not being able to really relax at home and with this being their only source of income he’s really under pressure to get a best seller this time, although his demeanour reminds me of people who are in crippling debt and are kidding themselves that everything is alright. The jovial happy go lucky nerd is accompanied by his roomy wife Linda (Penson) and their dorky son Lonnie (Coppola) . Shortly after arriving the family start to roam around their plush new idyllic cabin and the surrounding woods, while setting up home for the evening.

After a few disturbances, they call in an exterminator who believes is nothing but a few forest critters, but a local one legged root beer seller, Ned Perkins (Harston), believe it’s a legendary bigfoot type character and after attaching himself to the family he helps them battle this furious territorial monster.

It’s a pretty solid story, nothing unusual or unique, but something that a great movie could easily be built upon. But the shoddy acting and slapstick action make it a bit laughable but I think that was intended. The exterminator is a low budget John Goodman from Arachnophobia (1990), he’s got the suit and is insistent on the culprits to be something totally different but this guy doesn’t have the poise of the great actor, nor the flare, but it pays homage to another classic horror when the father’s dark secret about his book is revealed much like the Shining but with a less chilling effect.

The family act like they would be the family next door in I love Lucy, they are all cheers and joy and the language is beyond “nice” there’s a few break out lines, one classic from their adorable son when the father discovered some scat, and the rest comes from Ned, the root beer seller, he has a few fucks for the family to digest. His presence really gets the movie going, so he’s more than welcome to dirty up the dialogue if it spurs on the Bear’s into being proactive. There’s an amazing scene after Bigfoot kidnaps Mrs Bear and her husband goes after the creature with his Frank Spencer level of grit and determination and get his ass all sorts of dirty kicked by Bigfoot UFC style. Stephen Folker ‘s disclosure of the creature is gentle at first, a few scraping of nails against the glass in the home to a full on reveal and even some shotgun slow-mo battles but it’s just a guy in a really bad $5 Halloween suit. But it is what it is… strangely enjoyable but goofy  bmovie.

Rating 3/10

R: Exists (2014), Willow Creek (2013)

L: Bigfoot Films

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