20th Apr2021

‘Ape Canyon’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Jackson Trent, Anna Fagan, Donny Ness, Clayton Stocker Myers, Lauren Shaye, Skip Schwink, Bob Olin, Emily Classen, Nolan Weis, Dom DiMercurio | Written by Harrison Demchick | Directed by Joshua Land

I love a good Bigfoot movie and there’s nowhere near enough of them. Most recently Willow Creek and even more so, Exists have been really entertaining Bigfoot movies. But Ape Canyon isn’t like those movies at all really and genre fans looking for a scary or action-packed-style film will be disappointed. Ape Canyon does offer much more though.

Ape Canyon follows Cal Piker and his sister as they embark on an adventure to see Bigfoot. Cal is on the verge of implosion, the viewer left to find out why, and his love of Bigfoot means he believes this will be a good distraction. He needs somebody with him though and his sister, who has always been there for him, is there to help. With this, Ape Canyon becomes about one overcoming his problems and less about the monster.

I think it’s probably good to know that going into it. Because they’re no big fight scenes, chase scenes or any real action to speak of. This is more of a drama comedy and it completely works at that.

The two leads are really enjoyable in their roles and put in great performances. Anna Fagan as Samantha and Jackson Trent as Cal. The siblings show a nice relationship and it’s clear how much the characters love and care about each other. Their history slowly unfolds and you understand why they are both in this situation together. The actors show good chemistry and just feel very natural in their roles. The dialogue is kept simple but like much of the movie feels absolutely right.

Sometimes you need to watch a movie that is just ‘nice’. Not everyone loves that word when describing things, it’s seen as a bit boring, but I like it. Ape Canyon is a nice wholesome movie. There is a kind of villain in the movie but not really. This is just nice people working their way through some problems. And it helps that it’s got a pretty awesome location to play it all out to.

Written by Harrison Demchick, the script is short but sharp and engaging. It is surprisingly difficult to write likable characters and of course, the actors and director take plenty of credit here to. You are drawn to them and by the end of the movie you are emotionally invested. The odd tear might appear but the last shot will 100% make you smile.

Ape Canyon is a movie that literally anybody can enjoy. Running at a little over seventy minutes it’s something you can watch at any time. It’s an easy and enjoyable watch from start to finish and if you are feeling down at all, it will quickly have you grinning from ear to ear.

*** 3/5

Ape Canyon is out now from Indie Rights.

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