This film focuses on the camping trip of four young adults, Ryan, Brett, Ashley and Abi, who are each so fake and annoying you could never picture yourself standing in a line with them, let alone on a camping trip. In typical found footage style, the writers had to give at least a semi-plausible reason for the entire trip to be “caught” on film, and in this case it’s that Ryan has gotten a new video camera, and decides to make a documentary about his friend Brett. It’s not clear why he wants to do this, other than that he really wants to piss Brett off, which works. As the movie goes on you learn that Ryan is a stupid asshole.
The four friends borrow an RV, and drive to the woods. Then they take a bunch of their crap and hike further into the woods and set up camp. After darkness has fallen on the first night, they begin to hear weird noises that don’t sound human, but don’t sound like any animal other than a dinosaur. The whole group is loaded, so after freaking out for a few minutes, they all drag themselves off to their tents to pass out.
The next day they go for a contrary hike (seriously, why are these people even friends when the obviously hate each other?), and see some weird creature down in the ravine. Rather than rewinding the footage on his camera to see the creature (which is what I was screaming at the screen), Ryan drags his girlfriend down to the ravine, at the protest of his “friends” to see if he can catch it on film AGAIN. Big surprise, since it’s a blazingly sunny day, and not at all scary out, they don’t see anything. Everyone except for Ryan wants to high-tail it home, but Ryan being a total a-hole, says he wants to stay to get more footage.
That night there’s more scary noises, and sorta creepy things carved into the trees. They all freak out some more, and stay in the RV for the night. The next day the door to the RV is wide open (did they even think to lock it?), and Brett is missing (thank god). So the remaining three go looking for Brett, have another freak out, and then come back to find the RV is trashed, and un-drivable.
The next chunk on the movie consists of everyone running around in the dark, Brett and Ryan getting killed (good riddance), and Ashley and Abi running from the creature (which looks like a bad 70s wolf man costume crossed with a baboon), stumbling on a secret military base in the process. So, it turns out the creature and several other effed up people in woods are a result of military testing. Yes, that’s right folks! Blame the government.
At first glance, this appears to be a decent idea for a found footage movie, but upon closer inspection, there are several fatal flaws:
1) Are we seriously expected to believe that these four people decide to take a multiple day camping trip, and only brought ONE BOTTLE OF JACK DANIELS???
2) How was everyone totally loaded the first night, and then again on the second night, when it appears that there’s only, like, five shots missing from the bottle after the second night?
3) Why did they bother to borrow an RV if they weren’t going to use it? In the film, this question is actually asked by one of the characters. I guess the writers didn’t really have a good reason, other than, “Oh god, wouldn’t it be like soooo scary if the monster was OUTSIDE the RV and they were like INSIDE the RV??? Yeah, let’s totally do that.”
4) I enjoy a good monster-in-the-woods movie. I must admit that I did find it kind of scary up until they showed the creature, and up until they eluded that it was a result of military testing. When it comes to scary movies I think it’s best to keep things simple, and keep a little mystery in it too (a pair of glowing eyes is way scarier than a wolf man baboon hybrid). But if you’re going to drop a bomb like it’s all a result of military testing, EXPLAIN THAT SHIT. Otherwise you might as well have said, “And it was all a dreeeeeam!”
5) To end the movie off, there’s a barely readable, totally over-the-top end credits scene that made me think that this movie must be the brain child of some recent graduate from a video editing certificate program, who was given free-reign to do whatever he wanted. You keep watching the end credits to see if there’s some explanation given for this movie, but none is ever given, and afterward you feel cheap and used, as you’ve just been tricked into watching the crappy end credits.
Then we watched VHS, which was totally awesome, so everything was fine.