A documentary crew are in for a shocking discovery in this found footage film that takes quite a turn in the third act.
Samantha Johnson was a college student who had gone missing from her home in a small town in southern Florida. It is believed that she may have been the victim of a legendary creature known as the “skunk ape”. A documentary crew consisting of Sarah, her boyfriend Brandon, and cameraman Tim decide to head down to get answers and make a film out of it. They soon learn that the townsfolk don’t seem happy to see the film crew there.
When the learn about the skunk ape, they come across a supposed “expert” who had apparently encountered the creature. However, when they do encounter the monster one night at the woods, Tim is killed in the encounter. While Brandon thinks it would be better to just go back home, Sarah does her best to convince Brandon to stay so she can get the answers needed. The duo soon comes across something even more shocking in the midst of things.
Found footage films are quite an interesting genre to work with. With The Blair Witch Project becoming the first breakout of that era, as of late, the genre has been popping up on the indie circuit. This film from Ryan Justice brings back a classic creature: the sasquatch and renames him the “skunk ape” because it apparently leaves off a nasty stench. Quite interesting and yet somewhat “stinky” (pun intended).
The cast, mainly the trio of filmmakers, do quite well in their roles. Lauren Crandall takes the reins as documentarian Sarah, who is determined to get answers when they go to South Florida to investigate the disappearance of a college student. Having heard about many sightings and disappearances from the “skunk ape”, she becomes so determined that she sometimes disregards a sense of reality. There are times when either Brandon or Tim tell Sarah not to take things too far. She has the dedication, but she is one who doesn’t understand limits and even when the skunk ape does claim the life of one of the trio, she still finds herself determined.
The third act goes a completely different direction and who better to elevate this left turn than the legendary Michael Pare as Capt. Stryker, the leader of a military group tasked with taking down the beast. It is quite a shock that the film soon goes this route but for some reason, it still worked as the creature may have been a part of something bigger. While it may sound a bit weak, it somehow all ties in and ultimately does help the film a bit.
The Wild Man is quite interesting in its meshing of found footage film with something that goes on a major left turn in the third act. Lauren Crandall is definitely a face to look for and Michael Pare continues to thrive as a legend.
WFG RATING: B
Terror Films presents a Justified Films production. Director: Ryan Justice. Producers: Nishant Gogna, Ryan Justice, and Ian Longen. Writers: Ian Longen and Sean Michael Gloria. Cinematography: Ian Longen. Editing: Ryan Justice.
Cast: Lauren Crandall, Julian Green, Michael Pare, Mike Reed, Sean Michael Gloria, David E. McMahon, Eric Henderson, Nicholas Denmon, Tom Parnell, Wade Hunt Williams, Tom Elgin.
The film will be released on Digital on September 30 by Terror Films.