Skinwalker Ranch (2013) – By Loida Garcia

"Warning: The following footage might be disturbing to some viewers."

I am aware that to some the above is a cringe worthy phrase. A warning that they are about to watch yet another found footage film. The visual cue for grones and “here we go again” being muttered. Not I! I for one adore that phrase! The moment I see it I perk up and get all sorts of excited!

“Skinwalker Ranch”, a found footage film regarding the investigation of a young boy’s unexplained disappearance at his father’s farm.

Where this film differed from others in the same genre, (“Troll Hunter”, The Frankenstein Experiment”, and “Paranormal Activity” to name a few) is that it didn’t hold off on the action until the very end. From the beginning we are presented with strange anomalies that continue on throughout the film at a decent pace. Not enough to suppress a climatic ending but just enough to keep you interested. This filmed managed to find that perfect Goldilocks balance of action and suspense.

The SFX and CGI used in this film where of a decent and pretty believable quality while keeping the gore level low. Again, another Goldilocks point for them for not depending on blood and guts to get reactions.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!

My only tiffs were with the flashback scenes as well as trying to figure out exactly what it was that was “out there”. At first I was thinking that we were looking at werewolves, then aliens, and then demon possesion of some sort. By the time we get to the middle of the film it seems that we keep teetering on a three way seesaw as to what the “bad guy” is. None of this took away from the suspense of the film, it just added a bit of confusion. By the time I got to the end I was left wishing for just another 30 seconds in order for the film to tie in all three possibilities into one.

END SPOILER ALERT!!

Over all I enjoyed this movie and recommend it. Is it a good choice for those that don’t enjoy found footage films? Perhaps not, my boyfriend certainly didn’t show much interest during it (not really his type of film). But for those of us who love getting lost in the world of found footage I would recommend “Skinwalker Ranch”. If nothing else it will lead to some great discussions on what “it” actually was!

Rating Scale: Movie Theatre, Redbox Rental, or Skip It — Redbox Rental!