When the first clip showed up a couple of weeks ago for Devin McGinn’s upcoming found-footage horror flick Skinwalker Ranch, I was excited in the same way that I get excited for any film with a pulse that isn’t a sequel or a reboot. Now that I’ve seen the entire trailer, my base excitement for this flick has grown into legitimate anticipation. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Probably, but this trailer is filled with the kinds of things that make found-footage movies worth my time. Namely, bonkers visuals with wacky creatures.
Purported to be based on true events, Skinwalker Ranch is an amalgamation of many paranormal occurrences that were reported in the Uinta Basin in Utah, including UFOs, abductions, animal mutilations, and more. My guess is, the opening piece taking place in 1973 is going to have something to do with the climax of the film. Color me crazy (but not crazy enough to think that any of this crap actually happened.)
The plot centers on a cattle rancher whose son mysteriously disappears into thin air in 2010. Three years later, he brings in a team of scientific investigators who are determined to get at the source of the area’s strange events by setting up cameras all over the place and performing tests. But instead of proving it all to be malarkey, they discover something much more sinister. Or a lot of things that are more sinister.
One of them is a boy — I guess it’s the son — whose ghost runs through the kitchen every night at 11:11 p.m. One of them is a tall, bi-pedal, alien-looking being, walking around all hunched over. Another is a growling, four-legged wolf beast. Apparently these things aren’t just a physical threat, either. One of the researchers looks like he’ll be committing suicide and everyone has kind of lost their minds at different parts of the trailer. Maybe it’s just fear. Maybe it’s mind control. Whatevs.
While Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli will have his Area 51<-inspired feature coming out at some point, I really don’t see it being as interesting as this. Sure, it might have a stronger plot and better actors, but I like that McGinn seems to just throw every kind of sci-fi and horror trick at the wall, not limited just to the stuff that sticks. Works for me.
Starring Jon Gries, Steve Berg, Kyle Davis, Erin Cahill, and Matthew Rocheleau, Skinwalker Ranch will abduct your attention when it reaches theaters and VOD platforms on October 30th. Enjoy the film’s first clip and poster below.