Quickie 48 – Hoax (2019)

or “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Carnage”

Amid the crotch moistening torments of the summer slog, I thought joining a social group might bring me some motivation to expose myself…to some new movies. Ya see, it’s a Facebook group where participants are issued a movie to watch each week and then tasked with writing a short review about after. And if you don’t? They kill your children. Wait till they find out that my “children” are just corncob dolls I stole from a roadside vegetable stand two towns over! Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Anyway, I figure if I’m gonna write a couple paragraphs about a movie, why wouldn’t I turn that into another brick upon which to further build The Tomb?

As such, here’s a few words about the Bigfoot hunting adventures of Hoax.

“It looks like a bear… or an old man in a gorilla suit.” – Cooper Barns

When a group of Colorado campers are caught with their literal pants down (after all, if the ’80s taught us nothing else, campers love to fuck in the woods!), they suffer coitus interruptus of the worst kind as an unknown source of terror tears them into thrift store giblets! Their campsite turned into a black market body parts dealer’s wet dream, local authorities (who chalk the grizzly gathering up to a rabid bear) managed to recover bits and pieces of only five party members, leaving a sixth unspoken for. The father of said sixth is recruited by an on-his-last-leg television producer (played by that guy from ‘Farscape’) for an expedition into the hills to maybe, just maybe, recover the missing daughter…or enough of her to at least give dear dad some closure.

Also along for this “Gilligan’s Island Meets Blair Witch” mission into the maw of guaranteed doom is the field reporter (the producer’s boss’s slaughter-in-law, I mean, daughter-in-law), the ex-army soldier-turned-personal security babysitter (as played by the guy who was Shao Khan in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), the producer’s assistant, the primate expert/field medic (who’s friends with Adrienne Barbeau for cameo reasons), the pothead crypto-zoologist, the helicopter pilot (and his loyal dog) and last (and certainly least), the comedy relief cameraman who doubles as the resident horror movie lover and provides neither comedy nor relief.

From the title alone, we’re well aware that there’s going to be some mystery and chicanery involved with Hoax. Is the Bigfoot angle all bullshit made up to sell this TV show? If it only took the beast a few minutes to slaughter an entire six-pack of hikers, why does it wait several days to pick off our protagonists one-by-one? Also, in their search for ‘Squatch, the crew use a motion tracker and an infrared camera. Are these obvious nods to Aliens and Predator respectively hinting at a more extraterrestrial origin point for the movie’s menace? In avoision (“I don’t say ‘evasion’, I say ‘avoision’.”) of too many spoilers, all I’ll say is that Hoax‘s truth invites more questions than it answers. I’ll just leave you on that note to ruminate whether it should wind up in your “to be watched” pile or not.

The curiosity as to where this whole clusterfuck is headed is the only real reason to stay around. There’s nothing special about the acting, the writing is amateur, and the characters are pretty generic. The landscape is gorgeous though, and offers up some fair moments of cinematography that look nice. The soundtrack is minimal, but effective enough to do the job, while the practical gore effects are gruesome enough once things ramp up. Overall, Hoax isn’t going to change the proverbial horror movie landscape, but it’s a decent enough one-off watch.

Oh, and to whomever the “Shao Khan (only much older) taking a swim in his unders” scene is for, I hope you enjoy it. Blart.

Moral of the Story: When hunting sasquatch, always come armed for bear. Not normal bear either, I’m talking the mutant from Prophecy or the titular Grizzly. Flamethrowers, rocket launchers and Apache helicopters it is!

Final Judgment:

Three BeefSquatches out-of-Five

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