September 17, 2018 Beyond The Sky (Movie Review)
Are we alone in the universe? Do aliens or extraterrestrials actually exist? If they do, have they already made contact? What do they want? What if there is a logical explanation for all of the alien phenomena. Is it even possible to know the truth? Those thoughts in mind, comes the new Sci-Fi Thriller, Beyond The Sky, from Italian Director Fulvio Sestito, with a strong cast including veteran Actress Dee Wallace (The Howling 1981, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982), set for release in select theaters and on Digital HD/On Demand Friday, September 21st via RLJE Films.
The story follows Chris Norton (Ryan Carnes: Letters from Iwo Jima 2006, Doctor Who series), who is a documentarian with a mission to expose alien abductions as lies once and for all. He is a passionately strong advocate that alien abductions are merely products of false memories that have replaced bad ones. He and his cameraman, Brent (Claude Duhamel: Valentine 2001, The Line 2009) head to Roswell New Mexico. There they employ the help of Kyle (Martin Sensmeier: The Magnificent Seven 2016, Wind River 2017) to help navigate the area.
Bill Johnson (Don Stark: Peggy Sue Got Married 1986, Cafe Society 2016) founded and runs the International UFO Conference. He allows the filmmakers to come as guests. Chris listens to their stories but cannot stop himself from telling them that their truth is not real. It is at this convention that Chris meets Emily Reed (Jordan Hinson: Go Figure 2005, Eureka series), a young woman who also believes to have been abducted.
Emily reveals that she is abducted every seven years on her birthday, which is only days away. Chris is strangely attracted to her and is compelled to help her find the truth, whatever that may be. As Chris allows himself to get closer to Emily, he begins to question his own position. Are aliens real? If they are, do they really abduct unsuspecting victims at random? To what end? Or is Chris’ original assessment correct and it is all a massive lie?
Tales of alien abductions tend to be met with much skepticism. Other beings from the sky randomly coming down and taking humans only to return them just does not seem like a logical thing that exists. It is not unexpected that a filmmaker like Chris would be interested in trying to debunk the idea of abductions. Collectively, the stories just seem so far fetched and there is no proof one way or the other if aliens are actually real. Creating a protagonist like Chris who has a personal negative connection to the subject, allows the film to seamlessly weave the tale of a close-minded skeptic to an open-minded possible believer. Carnes’ Chris’ realization of doubt carries the film and allows the viewer to question their own belief of what may or may not be hiding in the sky.
Hinson’s Emily is the effortless cool girl that everyone wants to be or at the very least be friends with. She is beautiful, compassionate, and troubled. Imagine believing every seven years on your birthday you will be abducted and lose chunks of time. The weight of this reality is carried well on Hinson’s shoulders. Clearly a strong character, Emily is still a troubled young woman that deserves some kind of closure. Emily sees the damage even the belief of the abductions can cause and wants an answer to heal the suffering. Her warm empathy is the perfect foil to Chris’ cold logic-based skepticism.
Sci-Fi Thrillers like Beyond The Sky have the responsibility to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. Simply showing something unknown like an alien without any kind of build up fails in allowing the viewer to fully understand the gravity of the film’s message. Beyond the Sky succeeds in having an intelligently written plot that builds at a pace the viewer never quite has a chance to catch their breath. It keeps the viewer questioning which side they belong to. The believers or non-believers. That is the mark of a great film; forcing the viewer to question core beliefs.
The answer to whether or not aliens are real may never be fully answered. There will always be those who will never believe in the existence of other beings. Sometimes finding out the truth is scarier than the dream. Complete with a believable cast and brilliant script, Beyond the Sky is a must watch for those that look to the sky. That is why CrypticRock gives this film 4 out of 5 stars.