Matt McWilliams’ CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is a found footage flick about a group of friends who decide that they should go camping deep within the forest of various sightings and deadly attacks by a beast they believe to be the legendary Chupacabra (or “The Chupe” as the characters tend to call it). Despite the warnings of a local (“When you hear those trees fallin’, just know that you are not alone”) who lost an eye during his own encounter with the Chupe, and a stern lecture from the “hard-ass” forest ranger, the four friends ultimately decide to follow through with their mission to prove the existence of the Chupacabra.
To be perfectly clear right out of the gate, CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is not a good film. Like so many found footage films, these characters are poorly written and make some of the most boneheaded decisions imaginable, whether they are wandering away from each other in the woods or choosing to have wild (and completely out of left field) sex in a tent despite being constantly stalked and attacked by the Chupe. The only character who proves to be remotely likable is Morgan (Alex Hayek), whose realistic and often funny “what the hell are we doing here” approach to the situation balances out his more annoying and immature character traits. Josh Gates would roll his eyes at these fools and their Chupacabra-hunting decisions.
The characters aren’t the only flaws in CHUPACABRA TERRITORY, however. The film also features glaring issues such as muddled plot threads in regard to how some of the Chupe victims become reanimated and ready to attack, who exactly the gas mask-wearing forest-dwellers are that we see throughout the movie, how the psychi/witch/zoologist becomes possessed by “the darkness” of the forest and momentarily turns into an EVIL DEAD-like demon, and, most importantly, in this found footage film, who the hell was filming shots of the jeep from outside of the vehicle while the characters were driving down the road?
Flawed as it is though, CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is actually quite enjoyable in the “so-ridiculous-its-fun” kind of way. Despite having no real moments of fear or tension and following the “Found Footage 101” movie-making guideline to a tee, viewers in search of a breezy and often funny (mostly unintentionally, though a few of the comedic moments do land quite well) late-night kind of horror flick might find themselves enjoying it as well. Though I can’t recommend CHUPACABRA TERRITORY for its quality, I highly do so for its lack thereof.