A disconnected family decide to spend their holidays at the family cottage in the mountains to bond and find much more along the way. Nine weeks with no WiFi?! – cue much eye-rolling!
After the family head to the cottage for the holidays, Justin (Tristan Colbert), the middle child, is saved from an accident by Bigfoot. He befriends him and later also helps Bigfoot’s son survive from injuries. Naturally, there are also hunters (gotta have villains!) who are out to catch Bigfoot to sell him and make their fortune, resulting in the kids trying to work together to save the Bigfoot family.
Given this film’s similarity in title and subject matter to Bigfoot & the Hendersons, and that it is described as a family film, we thought we knew what to expect, particularly because Eagle Entertainment has marketed it towards people who liked ET or Bigfoot & the Hendersons.
Unfortunately, it misses the mark. The stereotypes within the family were too predictable – mother as home-maker, father busy writing a novel so has no time for the kids, eldest child a teenager who rolls her eyes at having to do anything with younger siblings, middle child the rule-breaker, and youngest child too young to do too much. None of the characters were particularly likeable, either.
It’s difficult to know the audience for this film. The storyline is too simplistic for older children and Bigfoot himself is far too scary for younger children. Quote of the night from my young viewing companion was, “Bigfoot looks like a cross between Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Borg from Star Trek!” (We never thought we’d see the day that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was related to a kid’s film!)
There are also a few lines that were far too dark for younger children, such as the hunters telling the children, “Gonna bury you kids here and shoot your papa!”
Director and writer Jupiter Makins is a relative newcomer, with this her fourth movie as author and second film as director, and she will hopefully go on to bigger and better things.
Reviewed by Michelle Baylis
Rating out of 10: 2
Bigfoot and the Burtons is out now on DVD.