Early in March of 2020, I was approached to do my first review for Nevermore-Horror. The project was the eight-part documentary series On The Trail Of UFOs by Small Town Monsters. I went into the series with little in the line of expectations, however, I was super impressed by the final product, immediately becoming a fan of Small Town Monsters, and even stated in my review of On The Trail Of UFOs that I was eagerly looking forward to the continuation of the series.
Since then I have reviewed two other Small Town Monsters projects, namely The Mark of the Bell Witch and, most recently, On The Trail Of Bigfoot: The Journey. However, it is this fourth review that makes me feel that I’ve come full circle. On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky is the continuation of what started in the series I first reviewed, As always I jumped at the chance of doing another Small Town Monsters review, if only because I’d get to watch another one of their projects, and again I was happily impressed.
Dark Sky focuses on sightings and encounters in West Virginia, an area known not only for UFO sightings but also cryptids such as the infamous Mothman. During their investigations, the team (led by Seth Breedlove and Shannon Le Gro) interview various locals about their experiences. Each person is 100% convinced of their own experience, making their stories seem even more credible.
However, something that impressed me from the start, which has remained consistent through all the Small Town Monsters projects is the wonderful balance between belief, skepticism, and uncertainty. Most documentaries of this nature are generally heavily skewed towards one side or the other, grasp at straws, and sensationalise the stories they portray. Small Town Monsters manage to have a much more grounded approach. Even the experiencers themselves are quick to admit that there are other possibilities besides the extraterrestrial, however, they are sure of what they saw.
The team travels all across West Virginia from Wheeling to Point Pleasant to the Dolly Sods Wilderness, meeting with various experiencers and experts collecting local stories and first-hand accounts of various encounters. They also delve into older cases that have been documented such as the Flatwoods Monster and the ‘Smiling Man’ Indrid Cold, as well as incidents involving the so-called Men In Black.
Dark Sky touches on various theories and possible explanations for the unidentified sightings. Many of the more terrestrial theories are suggested by the experiencers themselves. It is this kind of discussion and admission, that as fantastical as these encounters seem, that there may be a much more mundane explanation such as military weapons testing, that sets this documentary apart from most in the genre.
The data that the team collects does raise some interesting details but never once does the team try to unequivocally prove aliens exist. Instead, Small Town Monsters have merely done a thorough investigation into various unidentifiable aerial phenomena which may or may not be of extraterrestrial origin. However, the one certain thing is that the phenomena exist and have been recorded for a very long time.
Once again Small Town Monsters has provided us with an insightful, well-rounded, and well-balanced exploration of a topic that has (and probably will continue to) fascinate millions of people all around the world. Highly recommended for people with an interest in the topic and for those who wish to delve into a much more genuine and balanced documentary. On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky will be available to purchase or rent on August 3rd on a number of platforms from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW.
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