When a beautiful bride-to-be is bitten by the legendary creature, Bigfoot, she becomes a brutal force of nature hellbent on breaking her engagement - and her fiancé.
Mark Allen Michaels
Mark Allen Michaels
First off, let’s get this out of the way. The Fiancé as a title for a horror film is dreadfully unappealing and devoid of any personality. It sounds like we’re bound to see Jennifer Lopez and Hugh Grant in an offbeat rom-com, complete with a soundtrack which includes Katrina & the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine”. A misstep indeed, but nothing will prepare you for the rapid fire of painful missteps in the film itself.
Michael (Dallas Valdez) is a businessman whose business is struggling. He’s recently fallen in love with a much younger woman named Sara (Carrie Keagan). He takes up with her Russian father (and apparent mobster) for some business possibilities. All of that is told in flashback. In the present, Michael has invited Sara to his country cabin, where he intends to propose (thus the title). But there happens to be a Bigfoot monster roaming the woods, and Sara is attacked. But this isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill Sasquatch, folks! If you’re bitten/attacked by a Bigfoot, you’ll become one too. The rest of the film follows Michael’s attempts to subdue/kill his would-be fiancé.
The one thing of interest in the film, is the idea that the Bigfoot “condition” (for lack of a better word) is contagious. So much so, that The Fiance feels far more like a werewolf film than a Bigfoot one. Why even the design of the creature is more akin to a werewolf than a giant woodland creature.
As Michael, Dallas Valdez offers zero personality and even less sympathy. He trudges his way through this performance, never making us care. And some of his reactions to the horrors around him – are strikingly non-existent. Among the many doldrums of his performance, his whimpers and moans as he deals with his injuries – were off-putting and not terribly believable. Bottom line, Mr. Valdez is meant to carry this film, but it seems that the weight is far too great.
Among the many big (foot?) problems, is that the majority of the scenes in this film feel like nothing more than filler. So much of it has absolutely nothing to do with the main focus of the story. The piece is already short at 79 minutes, so with the cuts I would have made, we’d easily be entering into short film territory.
First of all, the secondary story of Michael’s tepid involvement with the Russian Mafia (in the form of Sara’s father and his partners) felt like it could come to a head and somehow reconnect with the siege story at the film’s core. But it never did. There is a line in one of the 100 or so flashbacks where Sara’s father basically threatens Michael if he doesn’t take good care of Sara. So in my mind, logically – the Russians would somehow arrive on the scene later in the film – see that Sara’s been beat up (even though she’s a monster now) and that this would create some extra drama for Michael to face. Perhaps even a shoot-out would transpire! Cool! But no. All of the gun-buying, theft, threats by the Russians and subterfuge – have zero to do with what’s happening in that mountain cottage. What was the point?
On that note, the introduction and subsequent scenes of Michael’s co-worker, as well as the many hikers discovering bodies and footprints (these folks have no connection to Michael) are ultimately a waste of time. They do nothing to drive the story forward, or offer Michael any insight into his situation.
Finally, the repetition in the script was annoyingly laughable. Once Sara is “monster-ized”, she attacks and then leaves Michael. He goes into the bathroom, takes some pain pills, attempts to fix his injuries and then goes back out into the main house. Then a flashback and then in the present, Sara attacks again, leaves Michael and he goes back into that bathroom to pill up and tend to his wounds. If I had to guess (don’t make me go back and watch anything of this film to properly confirm the exact number) it was at least four times of this exact same structure.
And on this topic, the choices made by Michael in these scenes were ridiculous. I know horror is all about questionable decision-making, but jeepers! There’s no attempt to drive away. And the discovery of his car keys late in the film doesn’t make up for that fact. I never recall any plot point or dialogue pointing out that he lost the keys in the first place. So the entire time I’m wondering, why don’t you just drive away? He also delays his call to 911 until the third or so attack. Why? He barely locks the door and never attempts to secure the house. And then there’s the moment where he goes upstairs, looks out a window, apparently sees something and then rushes back down to open the front door and experience another attack. My mind was blown by the randomness of this film’s structure and the overall idiocy of the main character. And again, I had in my mind that the reason he couldn’t leave, was because of something to do with the Russians. But no!
On top of all of that, there are some horribly schmaltzy flashbacks to Michael and Sara’s courtship. It didn’t convince me that they were completely in love – thus offering some sympathy as Michael is battling this violent, monstrous version of Sara. If anything, it gave Ms. Keagan the opportunity to deliver a line of dialogue so terrible – it could surely rank as one of the worst in screen history. In the flashback, Sara and Michael are on a merry-go-round. They’re happy and in love atop the horses. But oh no! Sara’s feeling dizzy. “I think I’m falling… falling for you.” Ugh. Just ugh.
I will say that most (certainly not all) of the gore effects are decent. I enjoyed the monster make-up of the Bigfoot creature immensely – although again, it’s more of a werewolf than anything.
By the way, my choice for an appropriate title: The Bigfoot Fiancé. Sure, it sounds like something on SyFy – played right after the latest Sharknado installment, but at least you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into. But there’s no J-Lo appearance here!
With nothing of value in the script, in the performances or technical components (aside from the make-up) I think it’s safe to say that you can break off this engagement before it even begins.
The Bigfoot Fiancé – I beg your pardon – The Fiancé is now available on VOD.