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‘The Sighting’ is a Little Beast that Makes Big Things Happen (Review)

Written by: Matt Molgaard

Directed by: David Blair

Cast: Kent Harper, Gill Gayle, Adam Pitman

You know what I don’t like? Indie films that show no heart, no serious effort, no dedication to the project, at all. Movies devoid of passion suck, plain and simple. Honestly. What I do like, are indie films that try to give us something genuinely entertaining to chew on for an hour and a half. A film that just screams effort and ambition, right out of the gate. Which category does The Sighting squeeze into, you ask? The latter, thank heavens.

David Blair and Adam Pitman give us a movie that tries from the first moment to the last, determined to make for real entertainment that catches viewers off guard on more than a single occasion. There’s a bait and switch maneuver late in the film that successfully separates The Sighting from the majority of other Bigfoot (Sasquatch!) flicks out there, but the characters themselves are interesting enough to handle that business, anyway. For an inexperienced duo, Blair and Pitman turn in very respectable work.

The story, at first glance, is very basic. Travis and Nate are taking a celebratory trek to Canada after graduating high school. They get a late start hitting the road however, and soon learn that they’re not going to make it to the border before it closes at 9PM. But the oddball hick at the gas station in No Man’s Land tips these two off: there’s a desolate road that will lead the two directly into Canada, no borders to concern themselves with. It sounds too good to be true, and it is. Travis and Nate run into what appears to be a group of Sasquatch in the woods. They’re attacked, and only one will survive. But what that survivor does beyond the moment of attack is what makes the story so interesting. It’s also the piece of the narrative that we’re not going to spoil for you.

I’ve got to say, for such a green crew, there’re some solid editing techniques exercised, a few unexpected twists that pay off and some very sound performances to soak up. A few of these performers show some very serious range. The dialogue falls apart from time to time, feeling a bit more pretentious than poetic, but what works, works really well, and Adam Pitman, who fronts the film, has a very wide range. This kid can ball his eyes out like he’s perched over a diced onion, he can also smile so hard you’d bet your bank account his jaw is double jointed. And he covers the middle ground quite well, typically more cheerful than sorrowful or stressed. I can’t lie, I could use a guy with this much charisma and cheer in my life; it’s bleak over here, Adam – let’s grab a beer and some sunlight!

There are faults that can be pointed out here, the most glaring may be the fact that viewers never really get much of a look at the Sasquatch of the story. When we do catch a quick look, these critters don’t look like much other than people in loose-fitting furry little suits. In a celluloid climate that produces films with costumes as mind numbingly realistic as though featured in Eduardo Sanchez’s riveting picture Exists, this kind of work doesn’t hold up. A larger chunk of the budget could have been invested in creature design which could have improved the film two-fold: we would have been gifted a more realistic monster, and that gift would’ve opened a few extra chances to give viewers clean looks at these beasts.

Creature design is really my greatest complaint of the flick. Sure, I could nitpick a few other aspects of The Sighting, but that’s not necessary. I didn’t anticipate a masterful piece of artwork from this low budget chiller. In fact, I only held one single hope and that was that I’d be entertained. I was more than entertained by this spirited little film that’s more likely than not going to open some doors for both Blair and Pitman, who are the true stars of this entire production.

Don’t skip The Sighting. We don’t see enough highly entertaining low budget horror films. This little beast makes big things happen with a small wallet and a pair of powerfully pumping hearts. Kudos go out to David Blair and Adam Pitman. Job well done.

Rating: 3/5

the-sighting-poster

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

10 Comments on ‘The Sighting’ is a Little Beast that Makes Big Things Happen (Review)

  1. I actually followed this movie for years when a review popped up for it on DreadCentral under the name of PaperDolls, The guys behind had such a hard time finding distribution for it they actually streamed it for free online which is how i got to see it, that was around four or five years ago now, i’m glad to see it finally found a distributor

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  2. I have also appreciated and enjoyed this movie since it once long ago streamed free as “Paper Dolls.” I’m so pleased it finally got a distribution, though the new title is, how can I say, not a very accurate representation of the plot, and the cover art is a little misleading. I fully understand the need for both changes though.

    Nice review. I slightly disagree with your criticism of creature design for two reasons. First, and I’ll try not to spoil anything, but if you think about the nature of the creatures as explained in the film, there wouldn’t be a need for some large hulking costume, as in something like “Exists.” I know that is not necessarily what you calling for.

    But more importantly, while there could be a few better views of the creatures, I kind of like the fact that they are only glimpsed. I feel that it gives the viewer the same perspective of the Sasquatch as the characters have in the film. Think about it. The characters are being chased and attacked, mostly in the dark and in chaotic fashion. They’re not going to get a good detailed look at what is attacking them. By offering the viewer only glimpses of the monster, we get to share in the characters’ abstract confusion.

    Craig

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    • You make some fair points, although I’d stick by my positioning on the creature design. While they’re described in a certain fashion by a certain character, they’re also kind of confirmed to be a little bit closer appearing to what we’ve been taught through urban legend and hyperbole. But most of all, I think in the position of the victims being attacked, they’re literally right there in the mix – inches away, at some points in contact with these things, and, dark or not, I think you’re getting a reasonable look at the things.

      Now, having said that, I can dig the ambiguity the story tries to bring to the creature. And, I think it’s the best way to go when you can’t necessarily afford or access the kind of creature company that can give you a wildly detailed and terrifying creature, a la those in Exists.

      All in all, small complaints here and there (something I think most of us have in regards to ANY film), and I definitely enjoyed the movie. Adam stole the show, and I don’t think that was an easy feat, given some of the talent involved. Movie, and Adam, certainly have my respect, and I won’t hesitate to look into future projects this crew puts together.

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      • I’m just happy we both enjoyed the film! I’ve been hoping for quite a few years it would break bigger eventually so more people could see it. They do have another newer project just released called The Triangle. Entirely different animal, but I liked it as well. I’m digging your website here too. Glad I found it.

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      • thank you much! Is The Triangle easily accessible? Amazon or Netflix, maybe?

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      • I found it on Amazon Streaming. I think it is also on iTunes and some other places. Again, ENTIRELY different kind of film than The Sighting. As I just found this page, I’m unsure of your specific tastes, so I cannot guarantee you’ll like it. But I have an eclectic palate and I found it to be unique and very well done.

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      • Is it a horror pic, or thriller/mystery/sci-fi? I’m all over the place when it comes to film, I just greatly prefer darker works.

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      • The Triangle is a faux documentary regarding a desert cult. Some sci-fi and I guess mild horror creeps into the story as it goes along. Overall mysterious, atmospheric and general creepiness sustain what might be called a slow plot. I wrote a review of it on Amazon if you want some more detail.

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  3. I like your enthusiastic review. On IMDB.com, the trolls have rated it 4.0. 20% gave it 1 out of 10, and 11% gave it 10 out of 10.

    I haven’t seen a really good Sasquatch film. To my knowledge, there is no critically acclaimed film about Big Foot. If you know one (even a great documentary), please recommend because in my heart I am a fan of the hairy creature.

    btw; have you seen Troll Hunter? It’s a Norwegian film. It is hilarious, and the creature effects are amazing for a low-budget.

    I wrote a fable called “The Sasquatch Who Spoke His Mind.” If you would like to read it, I am open to any feedback: https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/the-sasquatch-fable/

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