Sasquatch Sunset (2024)

Sasquatch Sunset Review

Sasquatch Sunset

Four tall, brawny beings stroll their way through an enchanted forest of fairy tales. They walk; they eat, then build shelter and do it all over again. This is a group which mutters but we don’t have access to what they speak about in the same manner that silent movies would depict this from the way they are carried out, change in tone or facial expressions. The movie “Sasquatch Sunset” presents an animal poem like documentary about survival as seen through four sasquatches’ eyes who explore nature and our connection with it. David and Nathan Zellner’s film may feel like it’s from another world—a different time, dimension, maybe even another planet—but the setting is actually pretty close to home. This is our day and age. It does less than revive how we treat nature including its mysteries while there is nothing any one of us or our families can do about it.

Thankfully there’s no voice-over narration for a nature documentary that humanizes these sasquatches. Instead, it falls on Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner –who portray these creatures hairy shoulders. Each actor creates characters hidden behind layers of masks and fur suits. Zellner’s beast is an older rejecter probably holding grudges against his younger companions who are full of life that he doesn’t seem to enjoy anymore. Zajac-Denek’s creature could be considered as the youngest one perhaps a babe full of curiosity whose naiveté leads him closer to danger at times. In addition to saving her son Keough also cares for the welfare of other members of her group during this period before they get a new baby. Eisenberg on the other hand boasts being much more gentle than either Keough or Zellner’s Sasquatches while having just as much fun as Zajac-Denek’s energetic animal does.

Although it looks enchanting, actual dangers to the mythical man creatures are not far away and forest malice becomes apparent almost immediately. To them, panthers, poisons and general mortally dangerous things are no less harmful than they would be to us. Eventually, these sasquatch wanderings end in their finding out about human life and the sudden shock pushes them into an overpowering wave of ape-like anger. One thing nature documentaries tend to shy away from showing is something the Zellners lean into for comedy, and that’s to show the animal having sex, scratching and smelling themselves, and demonstrating their displeasure by peeing and pooping. The Zellners may have shown the most sasquatch bodily fluids in any film, but that might not be everyone’s idea of a fun time at the movies.

“Sasquatch Sunset” doesn’t have any dialogue, so one’s mind is free to roam the woods with those big-footed creatures, let the early morning sun penetrate through the leaves of the trees, be enchanted by fogs curling about hillsides, look at other animals that inhabit this forest, tune in to The Octopus Project playing chill synth notes for background music. The cinematography by Mike Gioulakis is absolutely spellbindingly saturated with sunlight and could pass off as a tourism commercial; however there’s something in this movie that objects human beings staying away from these natural places. David Zellner’s script provides enough reason for not involving human characters in the sasquatch clan but this undoubtedly distracts us from their dwelling place. For most people who are used to living on berries found nearby and fresh fish guts they caught themselves, their life story might seem false but it is indeed their fight to stay alive and find love and protect one another which lies in perhaps every heart. Well once you get past the fuzzy costumes and I’m not sure anyone says anything intelligible during it again.

However, for me, the sasquatch tribe requires a lot suspension of belief while some of its sillier moments made it too much hard for me to remain inside contemplative mode. It took another viewing before i could really understand what was brought to screen by Zellners’; this may still fall short of overcoming some odder aspects of film for one or two people though. In “Sasquatch Sunset,” four actors wearing very uncomfortable looking outfits try to evoke our emotions and nostalgia about nature by wrestling with reality & fantasy and familiar & unfamiliar respectively hence making it an audacious project. But then again there’s something novel about this supposed bigfoot sighting which can stir curiosity even if isn’t supposed to make sense at all.

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