‘Sightings’ (2017): Conspiracy of the Cosmos Review

Thousands of strange phenomena sightings are reported each year, ranging from the legendary Bigfoot to UFOs and extraterrestrial life. However, with lack of substantial evidence, such sightings are typically discredited and explained away, believed only by tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists. A new tale of strange sightings is spun together into a unique story of an intergalactic conspiracy in High Octane Pictures’ recent release, Sightings.

When Tom Mayfield (Boo Arnold: The Red Road, Useless) stumbles upon three gutted female bodies on his Texas ranch the day after he retired as the town’s sheriff, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder case. This becomes increasingly serious when Detective Brendan Pitney (Kevin Sizemore: Resurrection, Woodlawn) becomes involved. However, with no trace evidence of an onsite murder or the comings and goings to the body dump site, combined with Tom’s previous job title, the former sheriff is left as a primary person of interest remaining outside of police custody.

Struggling to manage his own life as a single father, Tom tries to keep unwanted attention way from the flames of the investigation. However, this proves to be a difficult task. His daughter, Hannah (Tahlia Morgan), is an amateur journalist hoping to get published and sees this incident as her big break. Meanwhile, Tom’s conspiracy theorist brother-in-law, Rickey Haggard (Rawn Erickson: Plus One, Agents of Secret Stuff), begins speaking to reporters about his outlandish Bigfoot theory. Crazy takes a whole other spin when Rebecca Otis (Stephanie Drapeau: Startup, Day 5) arrives to further her own paranormal studies and a theory linking UFOs, extraterrestrial beings and Bigfoot.

While performances by Arnold, Morgan, Erickson and Drapeau are commendable to supporting the intrigue behind this unique story, it is the story itself that grabs the audience’s attention. Beginning as a simple Bigfoot horror story, the plot escalates into a conspiracy theory that combines two paranormal worlds while offering up an explanation as to why no hard evidence exists from these otherworldly sightings, leaving only the crazy stories of unreliable witnesses.

Possibly the biggest flaw of Sightings is its slow pacing. Many creature feature fans will also be disappointed that no creature is never shown in its entirety. While the film could have also benefited strongly from an eerie score, this paranormal story offers a touch of humor, a couple of well placed jump scares and a suspenseful, climactic ending. While Sightings may not be for everyone, it does provide a unique spin on two old paranormal topics and a twist that makes one wonder if the crazy ones and their outlandish stories might just be right after all.

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