The Sky Has Fallen (2009) – By Baron Craze

Doug Roos, director and writer brings a completely independent and fresh new take on a post apocalyptic world with The Sky Has Fallen, his screenplay delivers a gore filled, action packed story of an avian-based outbreak centered on a supernatural suspenseful creatures. Doug’s vision exposes his intended vision of gunfights, swordplay, zombies, and supernatural demons competing with outbreaks, effective scares and disgusting possessions, awhile wiping out a majority of Earth’s inhabitants hence adding even levels of complexity into his film. However, instead of blogging down in the details of how this post-world creation happens, he focusing on the individual is their lives, social well-being and motivation to continue onward against bleak odds. An approach similar to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), where the talk of the reasoning the dead arose, lies muddle, and instead takes the isolationism and conflicting personalities in the house as the baseline for the creating a scary story.

This independent project, lacked wide-angle shots, which normally establishes a scene, such as the vastness of uncharted landscape used in Dances with Wolves and then to the other extreme in the film Mad Max, showing desolates land and an isolated base of refugees defending itself against the mutant brigade. Instead, the close-up shots implementation bringing the audience into the intimacy of the virus, the tight confines of the survivors, having their privacy and personal space invade and causing more stress and allowing for more effective scares. Lance and Rachel (Carey MacLaren and Laurel Kemper) stand as the last principle characters in his film, to battle the virus and the supernatural zombie creatures, and mostly importantly their leader. Doug obviously shows his influence early on in the twenty-five day shoot, of liking South Korean cinema such as A Tale of Two Sisters and other Japanese films, especially when involving his skillful fancy dance swordplay scenes and exploring the lost fighting tactics and techniques of the samurai for audiences to enjoy.

Carey and Laurel take a heavily dialogue screenplay upon their equally capable shoulders allowing the characters to discover and explore and more intimate path in a world quickly becoming absent of other individuals. Their characters restrain their back-stories only expressing them along with inner thoughts after confrontational scenes involving their join enemies, opening old wounds, and deep dark secrets. As with most zombie films a mere mention of spiritual and religious becomes more of a prerequisite in the films today, as the creature is a peek into the afterlife that some aspire to find and others ignore, but ignorance in an horror film usually becomes ones death trap. Especially when one of the characters happens to find themselves on a classic revenge mission, motivated not by love but rather a guilty factor, which often has its own spiritual foothold and deadly consequences. Doug’s painstaking and fearless editing in post-production, packs in the powerful and thought provoking dialogue sequences awakening the audiences’ mindsets to question moralities of life and death swirling around human nature and sin itself. The special effects for the productions truly excel past all expectations, with many real squibs and over 50 zombie creature effects, majority of practical effects, and then usage of design memorable looking zombies yet showing both beauty and horror in the scenes.

For those horror fans, seeking instant gratification from another independent zombie apocalypse movie need search elsewhere, for this from changes the storyline from the original concept in 1968, and moves to a more sinister experimental crossbreeding the sub-genres of demonic entities and zombies, after all zombies likely root themselves in hellish creatures rather than the supposedly heavenly saintly beings. Therefore, locate this well received film, which highlighted the festival circuit for a while, winning awards and bridging a new path in the zombie genre.

A side note, Doug Roos proves early and often, that his future in the horror cinema, has a wondrous treatment, and already creating his next horror film for audience to play havoc with called Spooky (2015). Also, he lent hands to a local New Jersey film entitled Carver, directed by a 14-year-old girl named Emily DiPrimo, and the nutty production called The Girl Who Played with the Dead (2014) from director Cory Ulder.