Home » Film Festivals » ‘Frogman’ review: Dir. Anthony Cousins [Soho Horror]

‘Frogman’ review: Dir. Anthony Cousins [Soho Horror]

by Amber T

Folklore and found footage horror go hand in hand, and since the ground-breaking and game changing The Blair Witch Project scared us all half to death in 1999, filmmakers have been sending their subjects off into the wild, shaky cam in hand, all hoping to capture proof of the unprovable. Due to the elusiveness of their nature, cryptids or legendary creatures make for perfect found footage fodder, from Butterfly Kisses to Willow Creek. In Frogman, which premiered at Telluride Horror Show last fall, Director Anthony Cousins (the eclectic mind behind such classics as The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds, Fat Fleshy Fingers and Every Time We Meet For Ice Cream Your Whole F*cking Face Explodes) sends his characters on a hunt for a subject more elusive than them all: the Loveland Frogman.  

The film follows Dallas Kyle (Nathan Tymoshuk), a man suspended in arrested development – jobless, mooching off his sister and her husband, unable to move on from grainy, 3-second clip of ‘Frogman’ he captured as a youth. Determined to make something of his life (and stick it to the insufferable YouTubers making fun of his filmmaking attempts), Dallas and his friend Scotty (Benny Barrett) and his would-be love interest Amy (Chelsey Grant) set off into the woods of Loveland, Ohio, armed with nothing but a video camera and a dream of finding the eponymous clammy cryptid. 

Frogman’s time dedicated to building character is admirable in a subgenre where personalisation of the people we’re supposed to root for is usually underdeveloped at best. But Frogman is a short movie – a merciful 77 minutes – and every second counts; every second spent developing the will-they-won’t-they romance between Dallas and Amy is a second spent not exploring the gooey underworld of Frogman. It’s not until the 40 minute mark that things actually start to get sticky, and undoubtedly, the first half does tend to drag as a result.

But if you’ve got the patience to wade through the filmic swamp, you’ll be rewarded, as Frogman slowly but surely escalates into gloriously gooey amphibian madness that’s all at once hilarious and pretty scary, without ever needing to overtly insist into horror-comedy territory. A shaky, suitably bonkers ending delivers shades of the best of the V/H/S franchise, some of the metatextual context of Adam Green’s Digging Up the Marrow and even hints of the surreal, subterranean terror found in As Above, So Below. All this to say, Frogman may not reinvent the found footage wheel, but it doesn’t particularly seem to want to. This is a movie that’s here for a good time, not a long time, with a ribbeting – sorry, riveting – final act that confirms in no uncertain terms that Frogman, as the kids say, fucks

Frogman

Amber T

Frogman

Summary

With a riveting final act, Frogman rewards the viewers patience and hunger for cryptids.

3

Frogman was reviewed at Soho Horror Festival.

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