Directed by: Justin Steeley
Written by: Justin Steeley
Produced by: Justin Steeley
Edited by: Justin Steeley
Starring: Christopher Copeland, Hannah Wallace, Jeff Causey
Running time: 95 Minutes
UK DVD release: 9th Feb 2015 from Image Entertainment
1999 – ‘The Blair Witch Project’.
Three teenagers running through a forest for ninety minutes. Wow. Thrilling.
But how I feel about Blair Witch isn’t important. The important thing is that it was made for twenty-three thousand dollars and went on to make two hundred and fifty million. It generated A LOT of money. So what happened next?
Every fucker with a camcorder realised that they could make a movie. WooHoo! We’re not talentless, we’re indie! We’re low budget! Making terrible ‘found-footage’ films is cool now!
Paranormal Activity. Skew. Cloverfield.
And now, Ladies and Gentleman, we can add ‘Hunting the Legend’ to this diseased, inbred pedigree.
At the tender age of fiteen, Chris Copeland saw his father get captured (presumed eaten) by a ‘Large Bi-pedal ape-like humanoid’.
So what does he do? He does what anyone would. He waits a few years, gathers up his friends and a camera then goes to prove that HE’S NOT CRAZY. By searching for Bigfoot. After this, the film is almost so generic that it’s almost painful to watch. Here’s a Spoiler Alert for you; it is exactly what you expect from a found footage. You’ve seen this a thousand times before. Now obviously, with it being a handycam, we don’t expect any real production values. The whole point is to emulate real life, so losing focus, periods of looking at feet and jarring when the character runs is all par for the course.
However, the one notable value that these films should have is a good editor. So many films can be improved by a smooth flow, and that should go double for handycams. Each scene is supposed to be one long shot, and when that shot is interrupted the audience should know why. That isn’t what happens here. There are random cuts in the middle of interviews and (on a couple of notable occasions) mid-sentence. Most people won’t notice the individual lapses, but it gives the whole thing a jerky, unprofessional feel.
Mixed in with this is the acting and the characters. Aside from the opening few minutes, there’s no real development. You aren’t watching people, you’re watching stock characters. And the fact that the dialogue is pretty stilted doesn’t help. All in all, ‘Hunting the Legend’ is a FOUND FOOTAGE FILM in all caps. It checks off every box you’d expect it to, without bringing anything new to the table. The truth is, I want to hate this movie. I want to rally against it and label it as ‘The Cancer that is Killing Horror’. But it isn’t. It’s just an amalgamation of lots of other, more inventive handycam movies.
Three words to describe this film? Dull, generic and amateurish.