DVD REVIEW: Skinwalkers (Skinwalker Ranch)

A scientific research team investigates and documents the supernatural phenomena surrounding the disappearance of eight year old Cody, who vanished in to thin air right before his parents eyes on their Utah ranch. When the group arrive almost a year later, the unexplainable incidents begin to escalate. From otherworldly lights, shadowy figures and even cattle mutilation,  the team must decide how far they should go to unlock the mysteries of Skinwalker Ranch and whether the answers are worth risking their lives for.

I have to tell you – I watched this film three times (!) in order to decide what I was going to write, and just to check that I’d seen what I thought I’d seen. In essence, this film is an alien abduction-type found-footage movie, detailing the disappearance of a young boy (actually captured on film) and the quest of the investigative X-Files-wannabes team to uncover the truth. The film is allegedly inspired by true events that “shocked the paranormal community around the world”… read into that what you will. It starts decently enough – we see the disappearance of the lad through some kind of portal, interview the locals who have differing opinions on whether the father was involved, and then meet the investigative team. The film swiftly moves onto the team carrying out the tests, trying to capture auras, signals and so forth, and we even stumble across what appears to be what I can only describe as a “portal loop ghost”, with the boy seeming to appear running from one room to another on a continuous video feed. Then the film goes south. We find out that there is a conspiracy theory at the heart of this story involving lost 8mm footage of weird paranormal experiments, and the possible presence of a giant wolf / hyena-like creature and alien mother-ships… all very strange. I have to say the cast put in an admirable job on what was a difficult script to work with – the investigative team throw in mixed emotions of enthusiasm, confusion and fear all in measured amounts to the occasion. But it was the father of the missing boy that I was most impressed with, and he put in a strong performance of a father desperate to do anything to find out what has happened to his son.

The film is pretty liberal in terms of “found footage” – there is a lot of conveniently placed CCTV material available, but don’t let that detract from your enjoyment of the film, or trying to decipher exactly what is going on. Like I say, I watched it three times – it’s actually a very short film – and still am not overly sure what I’ve seen… certainly a mystery!

GS Rating: 3/5
GS Reviewer: SilverFox

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