Move over, Area 51! Now that the obviousness of your existence has been acknowledged by the U.S. government, you’re old hat. Your conspiracy-laden little brother, Skinwalker Ranch, is on the up-and-up, and now it’s getting its first truly in-depth documentary. Well, actually, Skinwalker Ranch is a found-footage paranormal thriller, but isn’t that all documentaries are these days? No? You mean Blackfish was real? (Scream!) Anyway, we’re bringing you the Skinwalker Ranch theatrical poster, seen above, as well as the first clip that’s been released, seen below. A lot of people are going to whinge about yet another low-budget, found-footage thriller rearing its paranormal head, but I’m always partial to this sub-genre. I’m a cheap thrills sorta guy.
Utah-based production company Deep Studios picked up the rights to Skinwalker Ranch, the directorial debut from actor Devin McGinn a few weeks ago, and it’ll be coming to both theaters and VOD just in time for Halloween on October 30, with a DVD release soon to follow. It makes that skin-walker costume you sewed yourself seem that much more relevant now. Though you might want to hide those bodies. I’m really into the look of this poster, which seems to show a giant spaceship hovering over a small boy standing in a field. Maybe it’s just a weather balloon.
For those unfamiliar, the “real” Skinwalker Ranch (which has nothing to do with George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, unfortunately) is an area near Ballard, Utah where many reports of cattle mutilation, UFOs, and other strange phenomena have been reported for years. It’s located next to the Ute Indian Reservation, and skin-walkers have long been the talk of Native American legend, so you can see how the connections are made. Or not really. The land was acquired by the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDSci), who spent a lot of time unsuccessfully trying to prove anecdotal evidence to be true.
McGinn’s film will follow the events surrounding the disappearance of Cody Miller, who vanished into thin air on November 11, 2010. A year later, experts from the Modern Defense Enterprises (MDE) take over, documenting and investigating the area, where the mysterious events get more frequent and more violent. The team of experts are then faced with the decision of whether to continue trying to get to the source of the phenomena, or to pack up and leave. If they still can…
Check out the clip below, which shows us Cody’s disappearance.
I’m always more intrigued by found-footage films that actually use found footage, rather than just having someone hold a camera to document everything 24/7. I assume that’s what the rest of this movie will be, but the home video approach shown here is a nice touch. After watching the absolute crap that was Area 407, my hopes for this film are skyrocketed in comparison.
While we can’t speak for McGinn’s directorial skills just yet, he was the screenwriter for Henry Saine’s 2009 horror comedy The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, for which the story was quite good, even if the acting and direction were rather shoddy. But Skinwalker Ranch was written by first-timer Adam Ohler, so Last Lovecraft isn’t even a relevant example of McGinn’s work.
Check out a still from the film below, followed by what I assume is a film-related clip where a conspiracy theorist’s digitally manipulated voice waxes on about how he can’t talk about Skinwalker Ranch…while he’s talking about Skinwalker Ranch.