One of the many cool things that I get asked to do is review films for PopHorror. It gives me an opportunity to view movies that I probably wouldn’t have ever heard of or had a chance to see on my own. You may remember that I am also a super fan of short films. I love them! So, when I was personally asked to review Nate Ruegger’s Trust Me: A Witness Account of the Goatman, I, of course, was not only flattered, but I immediately agreed to take it on. This film was an official selection at this year’s Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival and Dances with Films. Here, we meet a brand new horror villain, the Goatman. Let’s find out more about this legend, and if I enjoyed this short film.
A young woman follows her boyfriend into the woods for a romantic surprise only to find something far more sinister: the legend of The Goatman.
WHO IS THE GOATMAN?
Trust Me was born out of our fascination with the legend of The Goatman, whose stories span hundreds of years around the world. Some stories tell of a strange physical entity lurking in the woods. Others tell of a thing that mimics people you know, posing as your friends or family to confuse and… terrorize.
In Trust Me, we’re excited to introduce The Goatman as the next great horror villain with a frightening new vision: following an ordinary couple as they cross an unseen boundary between the real and the surreal, getting lost in a nightmarish corner of the woods where nothing can be trusted… the home of The Goatman.
The legend of The Goatman, which spans North America and other densely forested areas, dates back to the 1800s and has many interpretations: from a half-man half-goat hybrid that terrorizes the east coast, to a haunted bridge on a goat farm in Texas, to the modern version of a skinwalker-like creature in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
The title Trust Me addresses the paranoia caused by the monster: with its ability to transform, it raises the question – who, or what, can we trust?
The Goatman shares a lot of similarities with the native American legend of the wendigo, made famous in Algernon Blackwood’s 1910 novella, The Wendigo, as well as in Larry Fessenden’s (read our interview with him here) film of the same name. The most famous modern story of the Goatman is Anansi’s creepypasta about a group of teenagers who encounter a creature while camping in the woods.
The film is directed by Nate Ruegger (Another Life 2010), produced by Darius Frye (Into The Woods 2012) and written by Leslie O’Neill (Stop, Thief! Vandal! Outrage! Scandal! 2008). The film stars Alexandra Bayless (The Uninvited 2016) as Becca and Luke Cook (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 2017) as Jim. The run time is 11 minutes.
After reading the press release, my initial reaction was, “Hell, yes! I am all in for this film!” This kind of stuff is right up my alley. There is just something about legends that fascinate me. And yes, I relished this film! It had the perfect amount of suspense and build up. Performances were solid and believable. Not only was I creeped out by this Trust Me: A Witness Account Of The Goatman, I cringed quite a few times and the end still got me! This film pretty much cemented the reason why I never go camping or stay in cabins in the woods. As you know, I don’t like to give too much away in my reviews, but I will say this: If you love legends and creepy stories, especially ones set in the woods, this film is for you! Trust Me does not disappoint. I hope this film continues to be accepted as an official selection in future festivals. Special thanks to Darius Frye for allowing me to see this impressive short film. It is definitely in my top 10 short films list.
I also heard that the filmmakers want to make this story into a full length film, which would be awesome! You can follow them on their website for more. Check out the teaser trailer below!