On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky is fine as a documentary that looks into the UFO phenomenon occurring in West Virginia, with personable subjects it should be a home run. Yet, towards the back end of the piece, it sadly loses itself.
Dark Sky explores decades of reports of unusual craft and lights seen in the skies. It delves into some of the more overlooked aspects of the subject, such as men in black, the connection between UFOs and energy sources and encounters with a mysterious being called “Cold”. The new project took LeGro and Breedlove to West Virginia, allegedly a hotbed for UAP activity for over a century, where they investigated a series of sightings around the state’s northern panhandle and found a link between sightings and energy sources that have gone overlooked. Dark Sky also takes a look at “West Virginia’s Area 51”, and a series of sightings of the same object taking place near the town of Davis, West Virginia, that lead to the film crew having an encounter of their own.
On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky takes little stories and tries to paint a persuading narrative of the goings-on in West Virginia, thanks to its interesting subjects who fully believe what they experienced, after all, who is to say what is up there in the gorgeous empty skies? Watching these first and second-hand experiences is quite fun, those like myself who want to believe such things are reeled in as the filmmakers try to understand why all of this is happening in such a close area. The vibe throughout is relaxed, and you can see why the 2020 series by the same team was as popular as it was. With that said, those looking for a more in-depth journey are to be disappointed, and those who were already a tad sceptical would probably be best looking elsewhere for their 80 minutes.
A number of disconnects happen throughout the documentary, with one being LeGro’s voiceover. At times it is very clunky and comes across a tad too obvious that it is being read straight from the page. Similarly, some decisions on the framing leave you confused and remove you partially away from the subject. Shots with multiple people in them shouldn’t heavily feature so much of one of the trios back. Add to this the multiple quick cuts around someone talking and you lose a bit of focus. This is a shame as what the residents of West Virginia are talking about is worth watching, it just seems hindered by cuts every 5 or so seconds. This is of course coming from someone who has not experienced this teams work before and it could very well be their style and hey, if it works for the tonne of views they have already received, who am I to judge?
More time could have been spent looking into the possible ideas that are floated around instead of later focussing on one sole idea. Even then we don’t get too long with that idea, which is a shame as there could be a great deal of research placed there if not already for the team to discuss. As a result, it doesn’t click as well as they want or need it to. As expected in a documentary like this, it ends with a lot of possibilities, but nothing overly concrete to hang your hat onto, which is fair enough considering the topic at hand.
A major disappointment is that as the team have so many people to talk to, they accidentally breeze through their subjects when more time with them would have been great. As mentioned, everyone including the hosts are interesting, all eager to share and learn, you just wish you had more time with them as they share their experiences. Perhaps it is the cynic in me that wishes there was just more present here, despite its well-meaning intentions, there just feels like there is something missing to raise the whole documentary up.
On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky will be available to purchase or rent on August 3rd on several platforms from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW.
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