In 1999 Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez caused a sensation with The Blair Witch Project. A box office hit, it also popularized the found footage film, a genre that had been around since 1980s infamous Cannibal Holocaust. Mostly absent from the scene since 2008’s The Objective, Myrick is back with Skyman, a mockumentary about an alien contactee.
Ten-year-old Carl Merryweather (Jacob Sandler, Psycho Escort, Ad Astra) claims he met an extraterrestrial being. Nobody believed him. Thirty years later Carl (Michael Selle) still believes the encounter was real, even if nobody else does. He’s also convinced that Skyman, as he calls him, is going to return to where he encountered him all those years ago.
So, with the help of his sister Gina (Nicolette Sweeney) and buddy Marcus (Faleolo Alailima) he’s on a mission to return to the site and prove what happened was real.
Skyman isn’t a horror film, nor does it try to be one. It’s much more of a character study of Carl and the effect his encounter has had on both him and his family. It’s also a look at the UFO phenomena and the people involved with it. Something Myrick has had an interest in since he was a kid.
Thankfully he doesn’t let that cloud his vision. It would have been easy to play the scenes at the UFO convention either for cheap laughs or as a gathering of enlightened people. It’s the same with Carl himself. He’s portrayed as a relatively normal person apart from his insistence that he met an alien.
And, up until the end, Skyman doesn’t take a side on that either. Other people may voice their doubts, but the film lets you draw your own conclusions. Towards the end, things do get a bit more complicated. Military personnel from a nearby base try to get them to leave “for their own safety”. Despite the fact, they’re on their own property. Is it because of training exercises as they claim? Or are they expecting a visitor as well? Are they behind the equipment malfunctions? Or is there another explanation? The last twenty or so minutes is as close traditional sci-fi or horror as the film gets.
As long as you don’t go in expecting The Blair Alien Project, Skyman should prove an enjoyable watch. Gravitas Ventures will release the film to drive-ins June 30th and On Demand July 7th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for a list of theatres.