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Review: Despite Good Performances, 'Skyman' Remains Earthbound

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 30, 2020

"The Blair Witch Project" co-director Daniel Myrick can't seem to catch a break. With movie after movie, he doesn't seem to be able to ignite the same success he had with the granddaddy of found-footage films. ("The Objective" might be his one exception.)

Here, he utilizes the found-footage genre again, but this time as a "documentary." In "Skyman," an undisclosed film crew follows around Carl Merryweather (Michael Selle), who claims he saw and communicated with an alien being when he was a child. For some reason, he firmly believes that the alien will come back for him on his 40th birthday. So, along with his sister Gina (Nicolette Sweeney) and best friend Marcus (Faleolo Alailima), he goes to the prepper bunker they lived in with their mom and dad as kids, and there they await E.T.

Basically, two cargo holds out in the middle of the desert, the bunker holds a lot of memories and, for Carl, hope that he can prove what happened to him as a kid was real.

To be honest, nothing much happens in "Skyman." While it might be advertised as a thrilling sci-fi/horror film, this is essentially a drama with a few preternatural moments thrown in. This is really about Carl and his obsession and the sister who stands by him.

What makes the film not as dull as it might have been are the performances. There is something understated and curious about the way Selle plays Carl, who clearly has a touch of either Asperger's or autism, and it's this subtlety that is intriguing to watch. He's sort of a man-child, and you immediately take to him because you sort of want to take care of him.

This is clearly how his sister sees him as well, as she is at turns annoyed by his tunnel vision, but also desperate to protect him. Her sarcastic and straightforward attitude is played charmingly by Sweeney, and she makes Gina an easy character to hang out with.

But it's disappointing that the last ten minutes don't justify the hour and ten minutes that come before. Nothing terribly new is learned, and when you find out whether or not Carl was right about his suspicions it's more of a shrug than something profound.

I'm curious where the actors will go next, especially Sweeney, who plays her character like the poor-man's Michelle Monaghan; I'm definitely excited to see what's in store for her career. As for Carl Merryweather, you can be the judge on whether he meets the Skyman or he is the Skyman. Either way, you might not really care all that much.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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