Found footage is a genre that every since The Blair Witch Project–though that was not the first. That honor likely belongs to The McPherson Tape–many have attempted, but few have done particularly well.
Paranormal Activity was fine though prior entries in that series quickly wore out their welcome, which is one reason you should see Bobcat Goldthwaith’s Willow Creek.
It works as well as it does–which is to say better than most–is because Goldthwaith doesn’t neglect things like story and character. In other words, if you relate to either (preferably both) you’re more likely to stick with the movie when things get weird.
And Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) and Jim (Bryce Johnson) are two personable, easy to like characters though what matters more is that Bobcat Goldthwait doesn’t mock anyone for their beliefs.
He doesn’t say you have to accept a belief in Bigfoot–and Kelly is an “in” for more skeptical viewers–but what he does say is that such beliefs are at least have a basis in logic and perhaps shouldn’t be disregarded as crazy.
And that’s important because if the characters take the situation seriously, viewers likely will as well.