Thirtysomething Dom (director Josh Stifter) has nothing going in his life except a web-series of cryptid investigations – and the most-viewed of his online efforts is the clip where he blunders into a swarm of bees while looking for Bigfoot, who doesn’t show up. Dom literally lives in his Mom’s basement and would probably commit suicide if he weren’t so comically inept about it.
Even Miles (Keith Radichel), his compadre in monster hunting, is getting fed up with Dom, though he still dutifully trudges into the woods with his old friend whenever there’s a new lead. One day, a blurry video shows up in Dom’s mailbox that shows something – maybe the chupacabra – lurking on the property of affable, genial, downright creepy Doug Greywood (Daniel Degnan, who also co-wrote with Stifter) and the intrepid duo set out to track it down.
In its first half, this black and white picture is more a slacker character study than anything else, with cowboy songs on the soundtrack to convey the childhood dreams Dom is on the point of no longer believing in and only odd little bits – like glimpses of stumbling goon Igor (Nathan Strauss) – to suggest that this is going to be more like The Human Centipede than Ape Canyon.
Then, incontrovertible evidence of actual monsters is stumbled over and Dom and Miles are separated – one falling under the control of Greywood, who has his own strange agenda, the other lost in the woods with a collection of makeshift, disturbing creatures. It gets gruesome, but never loses sight of the character-based drama it started out as. Dom isn’t exactly a character you could enjoy hanging out with for a whole film, but that’s kind of the point – and he certainly has an extreme arc. Like Are We Monsters, it has a small cast, imaginative use of woodland locations, an odd attitude and an unusual use of handcrafted animated inserts to add texture and strangeness.