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Delivering bloody and gruesome action, “Tahoe Joe 2” is a found footage Bigfoot film that feels remarkably real and leaves you wanting more.

Tahoe Joe 2

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When you say the words Bigfoot found footage horror, I’m immediately sold. I’m a huge fan of creature features, especially those surrounding American myths, such as the Jersey Devil and Mothman. Thus, when I was presented with the opportunity to review Tahoe Joe 2 out of the Unnamed Footage Festival, I jumped at the chance.

Given that the film is a sequel, I caught up by watching the first mockumentary, Tahoe Joe, released in 2022. I then settled in for the action-packed ride I expected with Tahoe Joe 2: The Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Conspiracy.

The film’s synopsis is as follows:

After a popular social media influencer goes missing in the Tahoe National Forest, filmmakers Michael Rock and Dillon Brown set out on a rescue mission, but get more than they bargained for when returning to the famous hunting grounds of Tahoe Joe.

Tahoe Joe did well with critics and audiences, teasing the possibility of a Bigfoot franchise, and there seemed to be a great deal of anticipation for this sequel. Dillon Brown and Micheal Rock, who wrote, directed, and starred in both films, didn’t waste any time delivering the follow-up film. I think that’s impressive, given the original film was made for an almost nonexistent budget of $800 yet really seemed to strike a chord with audiences.

Tahoe Joe 2 begins with a group of young girls, who happen to be influencers, trekking out into the Tahoe woods to track down Bigfoot in search of viral content.

Like Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, the girls are following a viral trend that was born out of the consequences of the release of the original documentary.

Brown and Rock (playing versions of themselves) have cleverly built a real, believable world, making it easy to mistake these films for a true story. In Tahoe Joe 2‘s metaverse, many are slandering the original documentary (what we supposedly see in Tahoe Joe), calling it either completely fake or wildly insensitive to the victims, given how big of a phenomenon it became.

Brick by brick, these realistic reactions add authenticity to the film’s immersive world-building.

Unfortunately, our female influencers get themselves in a heap of trouble, and it seems Bigfoot himself has made off with one of their friends. With nowhere else to turn, they reach out to Mike to help, and it becomes a race against time when a storm starts rolling in.

Mike begins to convince a very reluctant Dillon that they have a responsibility to help as they are really to blame for all this turning into an online phenomenon.

Shotguns in hand, they both reluctantly make their way back into the Tahoe woods to face their fears once more.

Tahoe Joe 2 offers a tense and action-packed finale with human, natural, and supernatural threats.

I must offer a word of caution. When you read the synopsis for this film, you really expect to get your fill of badass action. However, viewers should note that getting into any action or horror elements takes some time.

In fact, despite being well received, Tahoe Joe received some online backlash for not featuring enough Bigfoot. History seems to be repeated here in the sequel, as Tahoe Joe 2 centers more on the dangers of other humans shooting first and asking questions later while constantly going down rabbit holes of conspiracy theories.

It sometimes felt reminiscent of the hysteria surrounding Blair Witch upon its release, which blurred the lines between fiction and reality.

I enjoyed many aspects of the story and respect the not-so-stereotypical take on the Bigfoot/found footage subgenre. I devoured the meta aspects, especially the hints of comedy. They work in great favor of this film. I also appreciated how the filmmakers really tried to do something different with the sequel to their surprise indie horror hit.

With that said, I was left wanting more by the end of the film.

There’s a hint that we might be getting a third Tahoe Joe. I really hope we do; I know there’s more Bigfoot to be seen. There’s definitely enough here to bring people back to the franchise.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3
Tahoe Joe 2: The Nevada Bigfoot Conspiracy premiered at the 2024 Unnamed Footage Festival (UFF), where it was screened for this review. You can watch the original Tahoe Joe now for free on Tubi.

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