‘Stomping Ground’ (2014) Horror Review

Hey folks. I watched Stomping Ground (2014) the other day. I recommend checking it out. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re like me, you feel an unholy duty as a seething Bigfoot nerd to cycle through every Sasquatch movie ever made. It’s all about the bragging rights, right? You know, being able to say that you actually devoted hours of your life to Snowbeast, Boggy Creek 2, or The Untold. Luckily, Stomping Ground is much healthier for your brain. And you know what? I think it’s fairly good.

In the least, we need to appreciate well made Bigfoot movies when we can, so have a watch.

Click below to watch on Amazon and let me know what you think in the comments! I included my thoughts on the movie below the image.

Watch ‘Stomping Ground’ on Amazon Video Now >>

stomping-grounds-movie

Did you watch it? Alright, let’s talk about it:

Stomping Ground is a competently directed, well-acted story of male inadequacy and trust in relationships. And there is a Bigfoot in it too. He lurks from a distance a couple times.

The Good

Stomping Ground is put together really well. I was expecting this to be a true dud, with poorly-recorded, cringe-worthy dialogue; boring, stock camera shots; and camcorder-level resolution. But fear not. Director Dan Riesser cooked up a quality meal right here. The screenplay is solid and funny as hell. I watched this movie a week ago and a few choice lines, namely from the character Jed (Justin Giddings), admiringly float into conversations. No one knows what the hell I’m saying, but it’s all good.

I also enjoyed the significant attention paid to atmosphere. Stomping Ground is ripe with BEAUTIFUL vista shots of North Carolina. You can immediately tell that Riesser lovingly photographed this picture. And in the background we have a soft rambling country guitar score that accents the landscape with perfection. Ahhhh to sleep in a sunny Carolina leaf pile!

The Bad

Alright, so I did like this movie, but I don’t think I would watch it again. It works on a dramatic level enough, but constantly pushes Ben’s growing insecurities while taking really weak steps to build actual suspense. There’s no horror payoff for any of it until the final 10ish minutes. By that point, my attention withered to a nub. I appreciate the minutes spent to establish characters and setting, but Jesus I’m sitting there at an hour in and a sliver of the creature hasn’t even been revealed. A large foot finally appears at 1 hour 7 minutes, or when 88% of the film has passed.

I assume most viewers discovered this movie through a horror website, or cycling through the horror section on Amazon. Judging by the cover art and screen captures of the great creature makeup, the production company wanted to promote it as something of a monster movie. So give us the god damn monster. Showing an on-screen run-in with the two victims midway through the film would have been enough to lasso me back in. The creature design is so cool. I would have loved to see it utilized for longer than a few seconds. And honestly there’s only so much love-triangle banter and big city/redneck drama I can take in a fuckin’ Bigfoot movie.

Don’t let my rant frighten you child. Bigfoot horror started as trashy drive in. Nowadays we’ve expanded into just about three other sub-categories: found footage, Syfy channel action, and independent snoozers. Stomping Ground leans snoozer, but it’s better than just about any other I have seen so far. Unlike Snowbeast, this movie might actually be worth your minutes.

— AJ

1 Comment

  1. Roy Wells

    The most interesting thing about Bigfooot is that this creature RELLY DID exist. There is proof in the fossil record. Fossils were found for Giganopithecus Blacki in Asia and Paranthropus Robustus in Africa. Were they just Prehistoric creatures? Or did they only recently become extinct? That would explain the legends. Or do these creatures still exist? If so, they are likely to live in less populated areas. They would need to have a sufficient breeding population to survive. There are no known primate species who are solitary.

    Reply

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