Hoax – USA, 2019 – reviews

‘The horror is real’

Hoax is a 2019 American horror feature film directed by Matt Allen from a screenplay co-written with Scott Park. The Rum River Productions movie stars Adrienne Barbeau, Brian Thompson, Ben Browder and Shoshana Bush.

The movie soundtrack was scored by Alan Howarth, frequent John Carpenter collaborator and musical composer for such movies as Halloween II and sequels; Christine; They Live and The Dentist.

Plot:

An investigative team travels deep into the remote Colorado wilderness after a group of young campers are viciously murdered by what may have been Bigfoot. While the highly specialised crew searches for evidence, they find themselves in a fight for survival against the legendary beast. What they encounter turns out to be more unexpected and dangerous than anything they could have ever imagined…

Release:

Hoax is released on Blu-ray and VOD on August 20, 2019, by Epic Pictures‘ Dread imprint.

Writer-director Matt Allen commented, “Working with Patrick Ewald, Rob Galluzzo, Yulissa Morales, and everyone at Epic and Dread has been great. It was clear from the beginning that we’d found the perfect home for Hoax. The marketing ideas for the picture have been top-notch, and we’re excited to get this picture out to the horror audience this Summer.”

Dread Director of Distribution Rob Galluzzo added: “It’s got a killer cast, a great score from Alan Howarth, and some really surprising, nasty twists and turns along the way. We’re excited to unleash Hoax this summer!”

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

Hoax should have been a better picture. It has all the ingredients for a memorable and unique horror film. Unfortunately, poor scripting, uneven pacing, and a lack of direction end up overshadowing its finer moments. An American classic like Bigfoot deserves better.” Nathaniel Muir, Adventures in Poor Taste

Only so many passes can be given out to unenthusiastic acting, a goofy creature suit, and uneven pacing before goodwill gets exhausted […] The midsection consists entirely of inconsequential sequences where characters split up, search, and reconvene with next to nothing having happened.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“While it manages a few missteps in the final half that it really didn’t need to follow through on, the fun attacks and setup for most of the film are more than enough to make this a solid and highly enjoyable addition to the genre.” Don Anelli, Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation

Hoax is a creature feature with all the earmarks of possible greatness. Elements in storytelling, cast, and execution were so very near to bullseye. However, there are simply too many elements that don’t even make it on the target.” John Davenport, The Hollywood Outsider

Hoax hums along as an effective monster movie, and the adding of that sub-plot (to reveal more would spoil the film) seemed a bit tacked on (though clues to its existence do show up here and there throughout the picture). Additionally, this fright flick could have done with a lil’ more screen time from ol’ hairy scary…” Horror Fuel

Hoax earns some goodwill by reminding us of what a genre stalwart Thompson has been over the years, but then fritters it away with an ending that appears to be designed to incorporate as many unsatisfying horror clichés as was humanly possible. Not recommended…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

Hoax is a film that feels lost in the wilderness at times, but what ultimately makes this an enjoyable watch is Allen’s unquestionable love for genre. Allen’s film has a palpable love for horror that I had a great time with. A jaw-dropping creature and scenes of pulse-pounding terror doesn’t hurt, either. ” Matt Konopka, Killer Horror Critic

“Performances are solid enough – Adrienne Barbeau is in for a one-scene bit and it’s always fun seeing direct-to-video superstar Brian Thompson as a grizzled hard-nut – and a couple of okay horror effects scenes deliver squirms, but Hoax isn’t as memorable a visit to this much-tramped patch of the woods as, say, Abominable, Exists or Willow Creek.The Kim Newman Web Site

“It becomes a cruel and lackluster (and very unimaginative) hybrid of several different horror subgenres […] It’s never fun the way it should be, and even the brief titillation in the opening scenes is mishandled and by-the-numbers. A movie like this with all the right ingredients should entice, entertain, and have some fun surprises, but Hoax stumbles almost as soon as it’s let out of the gate.” David J. Moore, The Movie Elite

Hoax builds nicely through the first hour, punctuating the crew’s squabbling with bursts of bloody action. Then as all hell breaks loose in the final act  […] One of which is a nice reference to a classic piece of grindhouse cinema. I won’t spoil it by saying which film, but it brought a smile to my face and sets up the film’s last surprise nicely. It also allows for some over the top performances…” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Hoax leads up to a third act that goes unexpected places, and it does so in absolutely savage fashion. There are plenty of wicked kills and impressive practical gore effects throughout the film, but the final 30 minutes kicks things up a couple of notches. Monster movie fans and Bigfoot aficionados should all find plenty to like about Hoax.” Joseph Perry, When It Was Cool

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Choice dialogue:

Bridgette Powers [Shoshana Bush]: “Oh hell no.”

Cast and characters:

  • Adrienne Barbeau … Wilma
  • Brian Thompson … John Singer
  • Ben Browder … Rick Paxton
  • Shoshana Bush … Bridgette Powers
  • Cheryl Texiera … Doctor Ellen Freese
  • Christopher Soren Kelly … Gage
  • Hutch Dano … Justin Johnson
  • Matt Riedy … Roger Brannan
  • Anthony Ray Parker … Jonesy
  • Max Decker … Cooper Barnes
  • Ryan Lee … Alex
  • Pat Jankiewicz … The Shape
  • Brian Landis Folkins … Danny Kent
  • Alex Graff … Sam
  • Lauren Ashlyn O’Brien … Michelle

More Bigfoot movies

Image credits: Epic Pictures

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