Directed by Doug Roos
At first glance, Doug Roos’ The Sky Has Fallen appears to be yet another entry into the zombie subgenre, but his film is nothing of the sort. Instead, he created a film with some undead-like elements in an extremely secondary role with the main focus on an ambitious story concentrating on an entirely different apocalypse altogether.
Told through faux news reports during the opening credits, we learn that an avian-based outbreak has wiped out a majority of Earth’s inhabitants, which is later determined to be the work of an evil otherworldly force. This unnamed force of black shadowed figures experimented on the dead members of the population to build their army against the remaining humans who were unaffected by the outbreak. Not only do they maintain the abilities to create this army, but their powers extend to being able to vanish and appear on the fly as well as the ability to change alter humans’ perception of what they see. Now it is up to Lance (Carey MacLaren) and Rachel (Laurel Kemper), both mentally tormented victims of the evil force’s other forms of experiments, to eliminate the leader and hope to put an end to their takeover.
This film might have a decent amount of gore for its many fight sequences, but this film operates on a bread and water budget. And yet it is successful due to Roos developing a plot that is thought-provoking, emotional and loaded with action. His unique cinematographic style also helps keep the viewer engaged as well. Many of his shots are close-ups and he uses shadows and blurred images to drive his story, producing a very dream-like effect. Maybe this is due to “protecting” his film because of his low budget, but like Speilberg unintentionally not showing too much of the shark in Jaws because the mechanical star was broken 80% of the time, it doesn’t matter because it all works to his and our favors. You are also never given who these things are or where they are from; only just what the characters know about them: they are evil, they are many, they have special powers, and they must be destroyed.
This film has a bunch of elements thrown into the mix without being too hokey. There are gunfights, swordsplay, zombies, aliens, outbreaks, effective jump scares, and possessions. But under all of the physical aspects, the intangibles of character development and story are the movie’s foundation. So you get your cake and eat it too! You receive gore, action and suspense…but you also have a decent script and an original concept that begs for a big budget remake and with Roos at the helm. This way he can mastermind the project with unlimited funds to fully expose his intended vision to us.
The film’s only downfall is the cast. While it is an attractive one, their dialogue is delivered with too much monotone in scenes where they should be exerting some type of expression. It’s a bit of a distraction, but you have to look past it for the greater good of the picture.
If you are yearning for something extremely creative to watch in the horror genre, look no further than The Sky Has Fallen. If this film was made after Cabin in the Woods, Roos’ flick would answer Joss Whedon’s call to action for genre fans to embrace new concepts in horror.
|3.5 OUT OF 5 CREEPER SANTAS|