Monday, February 26, 2018

Welcome to Willits (2017) Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Welcome to Willits (2017)
TaglineNot your typical cabin in the woods story...
GenreComedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Length:  84 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production CompaniesIFC Films, Yale Productions, SSS Entertainment, BondIt, Real Horror Show Pictures
ProducersBrandon Baker, Leslie Cimino, Jonah Fuller, Matthew Helderman, Jon Keeyes, Jesse Korman, Scott Levenson, Serge Levin, Jordan Yale Levine, Jonathan Lipnicki, Joe Listhaus, Amanda Ramirez, Michael J. Rothstein, Jonathan Ryan, Tim Ryan, Amar Sanghani, Shaun Sanghani, Richard Switzer, Luke Taylor
Director: Trevor Ryan
WriterTim Ryan
Actors:  Bill Sage, Anastasia Baranova, Garrett Clayton, Dolph Lundgren, Sabina Gadecki, Chris Zylka, Rory Culkin, Karrueche Tran, Keelin Woodell, Thomas Dekker
StuntsJim Henry

Blurb from Netflix: A marijuana farmer's extraterrestrial paranoia creates trouble for a group of young campers who pitch their tent on his land in Northern California.

Cat's Point of View: 

Holy crap!

That’s my general reaction to most of this movie. I laughed, gasped, cringed, and face-palmed my way through this unexpected gem of a film.

I remembered that I’d wanted to see this one back when reviewing its trailer for Top 20 contention, so when I ran across it today on Netflix, I couldn’t resist. Not only did the movie have recognizable actors such as Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider-Man, Bare, The Leftovers), Thomas Dekker (Kaboom, The Secret Circle, Plush), and Karrueche Tran (The Fright Night Files, The Nice Guys, The Bay); but also Dolph Lundgren (Legendary, Shark Lake, Don't Kill It).

I am totally a sucker for Dolph Lundgren movies. His more recent fare tends to be interesting and quirky b-movie material or action nostalgia. Considering I like both, it’s usually a safe bet. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t have a bigger role in this one, but his part certainly wasn’t insignificant.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Rory Culkin (Scream 4, Jack Goes Home, Sneaky Pete) in this romp through madness and paranoia. His character teetered on the edge of both a voice of realism and reason and conspiracy theorist nuttery.

What makes this even better, for me at least, is that it was filmed right here in Louisiana – partially in Shreveport, even. I had entirely forgotten the local buzz from this movie’s filming. Though, there’s one odd mention of Shreveport in the film which tipped me off to check the credits. Funny enough, the movie’s set in California in a place that’s supposedly the ‘gateway to the redwoods.’ The pine forests around here are full of trees far too skinny to even be considered redwoods… but I digress.

The trees would really be the last thing on anyone’s mind in this movie focused on aliens, pot farms, and campers (oh my!). In fact, the more prevalent thought would likely be ‘what in the world?’

There are a few places where it was a little harder than others to suspend disbelief but all-told, the film was a lot of fun and I liked that they seemed to favor practical effects over CGI. I think it’d be fun to watch again, sometime; and I wouldn’t have any problem recommending this movie. 

Speech AvailableEnglish
Subtitles AvailableEnglish [CC]

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 73%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.3/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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