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Terror in the Skies Review

June 21, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Terror in the Skies
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Terror in the Skies Review  

Terror in the Skies Review

Lyle Blackburn– Narrator

Directed by Seth Breedlove
Written by Seth Breedlove and Mark Matzke

Distributed by Small Town Monsters

Not Rated
Runtime– 68 minutes

Buy it here or here


Terror in the Skies is the latest documentary from director Seth Breedlove and the Small Town Monsters group and explores the weird beard lore of monster sightings in the state of Illinois. According to the documentary, narrated by famed cryptozoologist Lyle Blackburn, Illinois is the home of sightings of giant flying creatures that witnesses have been seeing for several decades. Now, the flying creatures, also called “winged” creatures (because how else are these creatures going to fly? You need wings to fly on planet Earth, dammit), are not all the same. Some of the creatures allegedly look like giant birds, while others resemble the “Mothman” creatures that are apparently a staple of monster sightings in West Virginia. The assembled experts (because you always have to have assembled experts for something like this) go through the various histories of the creatures, the stories, and the possible origins of the stories. As I saw in the Small Town Monsters documentary mini-series On the Trail of… Bigfoot, the analysis of the stories and legends and evidence and whatnot moves easily from a healthy skepticism of the stories to truly out there potential explanations of what the hell is really happening. You don’t have to believe in any of it to find it fascinating.

Coming in at around 68 minutes, Terror in the Skies moves along at a brisk pace and is always visually interesting. Breedlove strikes a nice balance between talking head moments, soaring views of the flat prairie lands in Illinois, reenactments of sightings (the documentary starts with one involving a kid witnessing one of the winged creatures flying high above), and very cool illustrations by Matt Harris and Brian Serway. Blackburn’s narration complements Breedlove’s visuals quite well, even when some of that narration comes off as way too wordy (it’s all in the pauses). Brandon Dalo’s score is also top notch stuff and helps set the tone.

Now, just like …Bigfoot, Terror in the Skies works best when the stories of the various creatures are grounded in the real world. When the stories start to veer off into the supernatural the creatures and the possibility of the creatures actually existing become less interesting. Thankfully, Breedlove doesn’t spend much time on that aspect of the creature stories, but they are glaring when seen in context with everything else. It’s much more interesting to think that these creatures, if they exist, are of the natural world and science just hasn’t documented them yet as opposed to the creatures coming from alternate dimensions or from outer space or some bullshit like that.

Another fascinating aspect of the movie is how it showcases the makeup of the state of Illinois. People tend to know that major city Chicago is in Illinois, but what else is in the state? There are a few more biggish cities/metropolitan areas, but Illinois is chock full of rural farmland, too. I knew that, but until you see it or a representation of it you don’t really know it at all. The creatures aren’t just seen in these rural areas, though. Many of the Mothman sightings documented in the movie are in Chicago, home of skyscrapers and major buildings. There’s plenty of architecture to see in Chicago, but you can also see winged men flying high in the sky? How cool is that?

If you’ve seen any of the other Small Town Monsters documentaries you’ll definitely want to check out Terror in the Skies. If you’re interested in the creature history of the state of Illinois or, well, possible real world monster history in general, Terror in the Skies is something you’ll want to track down and see. I’m really not a believer in this kind of thing, but I can say that when Terror in the Skies will suck you in and make you at least believe in the possibility of these creatures being real, maybe, during its running time. The documented witnesses certainly believe they saw something, and there’s no reason to believe that they didn’t see something weird. And the experts all have something worth saying, even when it sounds like total bullshit. These Small Town Monsters people are really on to something with these documentaries.

If and when you get the Terror in the Skies on DVD, be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes documentary that shows you what it takes to make something like Terror in the Skies. Watch Breedlove and company as they travel around the state of Illinois in a van, set up drone cameras to get those soaring visuals, and just how they put together those sequences where you see the experts walking while you hear them talk on the soundtrack. It’s a small operation, sure, but they’re all pros and it’s cool seeing them at work.

Terror in the Skies is a monster documentary worth seeing. Even if you don’t believe a word of it, it’s still a fascinating subject. I loved it.

See Terror in the Skies. See it, see it, see it.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Terror in the Skies is the latest weird beard creature documentary from the Small Town Monsters group, and it deals with flying winged creature sightings in the state of Illinois. Directed by Seth Breedlove and featuring narration by Lyle Blackburn, the documentary goes into the various creatures seen throughout the state and the histories of those creatures alongside talking head sections with experts on these stories and sightings and whatnot. I enjoyed the previous Small Town Monsters release I saw, the six part documentary mini-series On the Trail of… Bigfoot, and Terror in the Skies works in the same general wheelhouse. It’s always fascinating, even when it gets weird. Check out Terror in the Skies. It’s absolutely worth seeing.