I just gave House of Salem a positive review, and many folks already know James Crow for Curse of the Witching Tree. On top of that, the press materials for this one looked phenomenal, so I went into my viewing of Black Creek with high expectations. Sparrowhawk Pictures and Last British Dragon are going to have another hit on their hands with Black Creek. I can say that for sure. Produced by Crow and Craig Patrick, the film follows two siblings as they return to their recently deceased father’s favorite get-away to spread his ashes. Joined by a small group of rambunctious friends and distraught family members, the group causes a commotion that inadvertently draws the attention of an ancient, evil entity known as The Wisconsin Skin Walker. What was supposed to be a weekend of remembrance at an isolated cabin in the woods, now turns into a fight for survival as the bloodthirsty demon takes their souls one-by-one. An angsty, splatterfest with thrills and chills, Black Creek is a movie you don’t want to miss!
Cabin in the woods flicks are a dime a dozen at this point, but Black Creek has a lot more content, a lot more story than other entries in its category. Not only is its villain more fleshed out – no pun intended – and two dimensional, but all of the characters add something to the story. Depth, if you will. They’re not the most intelligent, or the most kindhearted – Hell, most of them are canon fodder – but they keep the film interesting and add half a dozen subplots to this insane, bloody thriller written and directed by James Crow. It’s not a simple “kids go to the woods, kids die” flick. Scattering the father’s ashes makes it emotional, sadly familiar. It’s an emotional punch that’ll reel the audience in from the very beginning, and keep them around as the film progresses. And creating the demonic spirit around twisted Native American lure gives Black Creek an enchanting, homey atmosphere that was utilized to perfection. When your killer can jump from person to person, from host to host, how are you supposed to anticipate its next move? Yeah, the suspense was definitely sky high!
I’m going to take a step back and address what I didn’t like before finishing this review with more positive aspects. My one and only complaint… is the acting. Most of the principal cast, I’m sorry, just weren’t very good. Their performances were lazy and almost laughable, and the bad performances stood out against the other main actors who did a decent job. Even a cool British accent couldn’t save one actor. It’s strange because all of the minor characters were much more fun and believable, and I have to wonder what happened during the casting sessions. The two young men who are out hunting and die in the beginning were incredibly talented, and they could (more like should) have replaced some of the boys in the main cast. Also, I got a particular kick out of Kaylee Williams and Michael Copon sharing their scenes together. Kaylee Williams is one of my favorite independent horror actresses. I was happy to see her again, since I haven’t gotten a glimpse at her talent since 2014’s The Lashman. Michael Copon (“Beyond the Break,” “Power Rangers,” “One Tree Hill”) is a recognizable talent and I’m glad to see him doing scary movies now that his teen heartthrob days are in the past. Welcome to the genre, Mike! Also, the pool scene near the beginning was too loud, but that’s neither here nor there.
Black Creek has its eyes on the prize, literally. When the evil spirit has possessed a body, its eyes turn black. The eye theme stays put the entire movie, with a lot of the kill scenes having to do with eyeballs being gouged out or spikes going through the eyes. Gross! Did I mention this one has a tremendously delightful body count? Plot, death, plot, death, plot, death, plot, death. It’s a typical progression in story, especially when dealing with a supernatural slasher of sorts, but it keeps the viewer from getting bored and it delivers what horror fans look for the most – gore! A complex, earthy story with buckets of blood and expert cinematography from Scott Fox Dear. I’ll take it! Throw another body on the burner, please! And, if you’re one of those people, I’ll mention that Black Creek handles Native American mythology in a very respectful way. You can’t expect every ancient spirit to be a pacifist, right?
Honestly, I think that Black Creek has a small level of re-watch-ability to it, which is perfect considering it’s hitting VOD on February 16, 2018 courtesy of Freestyle Digital Media. For independent horror fans, it’s definitely worth the price of purchase. And I’d even go as far as to say I’d love to see another Wisconsin Skin Walker movie in the future…just with better acting. Do you hear me, James Crow? Edited by Jeremy Wanek and Eric Chan, Black Creek follows a group of young people discovering more than love and adventure in the woods. They discover death! Bloody, Angsty, Daunting and Funky, Black Creek is a sleeper hit and a hidden gem for body count horror fans. It reminded me of My Soul to Take. Final Score: 8 out of 10.