‘Hunting the Legend’ is a faux documentary/found footage horror film that portrays a group of young adults hunting for Bigfoot in the Alabama woods. The film follows Chris Copeland and his friends as they search for answers after his father was allegedly killed by the famous monster, five years prior, while deer hunting.
As far as found footage films go, this starts off as a pretty standard release. It does do some things well, such as the setting up of the overall storyline. A lot of times, films in this genre tend to phone in the build-up to the scary stuff, but ‘Hunting the Legend’ does an ample amount of backstory, including the introduction of numerous interesting characters used to reinforce the film’s mythology. Unfortunately, it does fall into many of the stereotypical pitfalls of found footage movies, such as scenes they film even though they are told not to (legal issues; people tend to be able to tell if a camera is on), and scenes where it makes no sense that they would still be recording (your life is in danger, run!).
The overall acting in the movie is subpar at best, but the fact that this is supposed to be a documentary saves some of this. However, little can be done to help with the terrible job done by Copeland in delivering any line about the mysterious death of his father with any sort of emotion or feeling of sadness. An early speech about the purpose of the documentary being to solve the mystery of his dead father could just as easily be about what he wants for dinner or some other menial issue. Dialog is used primarily to further the film into the scary stuff, and not to add any depth to the film itself or its characters.
The editing of the “documentary” footage is terrible. It is impossible to figure out if the editing was done so horribly on purpose or if the actors were just that bad at reading their lines in a believable way. Regardless, the editing gives much of the dialogue an annoyingly rushed pace, and makes it difficult to take in what is being said. An additional bizarre caveat related to the bad editing is that this is supposed to be a found footage film, and the person listed as the film’s editor is in the film, as himself, when events make it impossible for his character to do any more work on the film. Perhaps this is reading too much into it, but if the filmmakers goal by using their own names was horror realism then the blatant editing of the footage renders this attempt void.
Fans of Bigfoot films will recognize many familiar tropes sprinkled throughout, including large plaster foot casts, blurry photographs, and the like. These elements do a good job tying the film into the popular Bigfoot mythos, however it would be nice if the film attempted to add something rather than just ride the legend’s coattails. ‘Hunting the Legend’ is a run-of-the-mill found footage film that has more reasons to dislike it than to like it.