Director Seth Breedlove explores hundreds of years of terrifying reports of encounters with massive, winged creatures around the Land of Lincoln. From Alton’s man-eating Piasa Bird legends to recent Chicago sightings of a creature said to resemble West Virginia’s infamous Mothman, Terror in the Skies takes an in-depth look at a centuries-old mystery. The latest folklore documentary from the team behind the miniseries “On the Trail of Bigfoot”, Terror in the Skies will be available to rent or own on Amazon Instant Video, Vimeo OnDemand, DVD and VIDI Space starting June 7th, 2019.Terror in the Skies is narrated by author, musician and television personality Lyle Blackburn. It is co-written by Seth Breedlove and Mark Matzke, with cinematography by Zac Palmisano, an original score by Brandon Dalo, and sound design by Jason Utes.SRV Films and Santino Vitale handled VFX and the film contains original illustrations by Matt Harris and Brian Serway. The film is produced by Seth and Adrienne Breedlove. Authors Loren Coleman and Troy Taylor are featured alongside numerous others.
Ok, so…full disclosure: I’m a total skeptic and don’t for a second believe in anything I saw in the documentary. Horror fandom seems to be split right down the middle when it comes to those that believe in the supernatural and those that view it as pure entertainment. You can oftentimes tell who is a fan of what specific subgenre, with the believers loving those Warren-based films like The Conjuring and documentaries such as this, and the skeptics liking the more sci-fi or reality-based horror…or at least that’s my general perception—I’m sure there are plenty that enjoy all the genres for any reason. All I’m saying is that I am not the target audience of this specific film, but I going to write this review as objectively as possible and critique the film as a whole rather than just dismiss it outright. Now, let us dig into some cryptozoology!
There’s a great opening monologue that basically tells you not to think like I do. Which is fine….I can agree with this sentiment. What comes next is a really well edited and beautifully shot documentary with immersive audio, some awesome folklore, and healthy Americana…all held together by the thinnest of threads—pins and string on a corkboard linking together the plot in the strangest of webs. The first third of the film is little more than a two to four-minute scenes jumping from expert to expert about supernatural happenings, giant bird sightings, Mothman stories, and anything and everything about fantastic flapping creatures.
Once the film hits that halfway point, it feels like the latter half of the film is just simply going to be more of the first half of the film, which there had been a lot of already. That proved to be true, with the format very generic from start to end. There were a lot of witness testimonials, reenacted and real footage blended together, “eye-witnesses” and claims of past witnesses with very weak “facts” and a very strong focus on hearsay.
“…a gentleman showed up calling himself ‘Texas John’.” <–Lines like this let us know that we are probably not dealing with a Scientific study or evidence-backed documentary.
Look…listen…this is really well done. If you like a good documentary and if cryptozoology gets you off, then this film is gonna titillate your bits; it’s gonna check all of those boxes for you; it’s gonna have you so captivated and smothered in good, old Americana…it’s pseudoscientific perfection. It follows the same formula that films of the same type do films do, but it does it just a little bit better than some—there’s a bit more pizzazz, decent animations, on-point editing, and some damn decent beards. I was never bored nor was I ever really engrossed, probably due to the skeptic in me just going “nah” every few minutes.
As much as I may have internally slammed the film for being mostly fictitious, it does well to both ask you to keep an open mind at the start, as well as take everything with a pinch of salt at the end, which I really appreciated. The film really doesn’t lie or try to bullshit you, nor does it pretend like it has all of the answers. What it is is a very in-depth look into many of the claims about winged cryptid sightings in cities and towns in the US. It does this with a decent production value, a passionate team, a tried and tested formula, and what I guess I need to admit to as experts in their field. It was a good watch and if this were my personal taste/hobby/interest…I would have loved it. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and art below.
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