Terror in the Skies: Mothman, Winged Demons, Thunderbirds, Prehistoric Remnants (2019)

With Godzilla and giant monsters currently stomping through American cinemas, “Terror in the Skies” comes at the right time asking us about allegedly real giant monsters. Throughout decades of folklore and legends, there have been encounters with giant winged beasts, and supernatural monsters, all of which have managed to spawn mass hysteria and mysterious accounts by locals of various towns around America. While “Terror in the Skies” has potential to be a creepy documentary, it watches so much more like afternoon filler on basic cable.

Seth Breedlove’s documentary surrounds the idea of winged monsters and giant birds, all of which fall under the category of cryptozoology. For as long as there has been civilization, there have been sightings of monsters, and giant beasts that have allegedly stalked mankind and various people, all of whom barely made it out alive. Breedlove tackles just about all winged beasts from Alton’s man-eating Piasa Bird to recent Chicago sightings of a dark creature said to resemble West Virginia’s legendary Mothman. There’s also discussion about giant birds known as Thunderbirds, and heavy debate about what they could actually be.

“Terror in the Skies,” at only an hour in length, feels so much like basic cable fodder where there’s nothing concrete explored here. Despite director Breedlove going around the country getting accounts from various witnesses and whatnot, there isn’t a lot to go on here. There’s a lot of “I heard,” or “I thought I saw” and “People said” from pretty much everyone that Breedlove and his crew interviews. But there is never concrete evidence that perhaps these stories are exaggerations, lies, or just tall tales for the sake of getting on a film. There is so much good material out there about cryptoids and monsters that have been said to roam various forests and lands, it’s just that “Terror in the Skies” doesn’t provide compelling enough entertainment.

Many of the accounts also feel dubious at best. Especially when in the finale a speaker literally explains that with the popularity of drones, and thrill seekers, so many modern eyewitness accounts of monsters could just be our eyes lying to us. “Terror in the Skies” is serviceable if you want a quick fix of American folklore and tall tales, but these days you could find this kind fodder on basic cable channels like Destination America, Syfy, or the Travel Channel.

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