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The Independent Critic

Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Nathan Zellner, Christophe Zajac-Denek
David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
David Zellner
Rated R
89 Mins.
Bleecker Street

 Movie Review: Sasquatch Sunset 
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If you've grown weary of superhero films, Hollywood remakes, and relentless sequels, I present to you Exhibit A for the argument that on occasion Hollywood can come up with something so incredibly unique that it practically demands a genre all its own. 

From indie studio Bleecker Street, Sasquatch Sunset is a rather miraculous wonder that defies description yet demands attention. The film centers around a family of Sasquatches (Critic's Note: What actually is the plural of Sasquatch?). We never learn their names. They don't actually speak, instead communicating with grunts, cries, and an assortment of behaviors. They are barely discernible in their latex suits and, yes, suits are used with actual actors including the family's alpha male (co-director Nathan Zellner), female (Riley Keough), beta male (Jesse Eisenberg), and apparent adolescent (Christophe Zajac-Denek). 

There are a zillion ways that Sasquatch Sunset could have gone wrong. 

It never does. 

Instead, Sasquatch Sunset becomes one of 2024's most rewarding cinematic surprises with a story simultaneously funny yet immensely touching. Sasquatch Sunset can be, and often is, remarkably absurd and hilariously vulgar. Let's just say if you're shy about bodily fluids, well, our family seems to use them as a way to communicate. A lot. 

Sasquatch Sunset follows our family as they eat from nature, build shelters, fight to survive, play with fellow creatures, mate, and have experiences both hilarious and surprisngly sad. Without dialogue, it's the physicality that matters here and it's remarkably beautiful to watch. Riley Keough mesmerizes, her presence only obvious because her costume provides her with breasts larger than the others and because we become aware that she is nearing time to give birth. Zellner's Sasquatch is more volatile, an often demanding and impulsive beast prone to fits of rage. Eisenberg's, on the other hand, is rather sweet and playful. 

The entire ensemble cast is remarkable. 

Original music by The Octopus Project is sublime throughout the 89-minute film and Mike Gioulakis's lensing is an absolute marvel in capturing the Pacific Northwest and the obvious environmental message that radiates throughout the film. Indeed, the film's final shot is absolute perfection. 

While I fancy myself a fan of Bigfoot/Sasquatch films, I can say with complete confidence I've never seen one like the remarkable Sasquatch Sunset. While some won't be able to adapt to its uniqueness and others will consider it a one-note played for too long, for those who surrender to it, as I did, you'll find one of 2024's most unique and satisfying motion pictures. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic