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‘Skyman’ Review: Ready for an Alien Reunion

“Skyman,” Daniel Myrick’s curiously gentle contribution to the alien-visitation genre, is a faux documentary and an all-too-real examination of the way a single childhood incident can infect an entire life.

That life belongs to Carl Merryweather (Michael Selle), an obsessive loner whose claim of having been visited by an extraterrestrial three decades earlier has isolated him from the other residents of his small California town. Now, on the eve of his 40th birthday, Carl is eagerly anticipating the promised return of his “skyman”: Having spent the intervening years compiling first-person accounts of other contactees, Carl is excited when a documentary crew wants to film the reunion and silence his naysayers.

As Carl enlists the help of his sister (Nicolette Sweeney) and his best friend (Faleolo Alailima) in elaborate preparations for the visitation, the movie’s striking desert locations and generous tone are more soothing than scary. Assembling a rough collage of home videos, interviews and news reports, Myrick (a writer and director of the 1999 horror tale “The Blair Witch Project”) presents a touching character study of a man lost in memories of his long-dead father and angry at a world he no longer feels part of.

Subdued and temperate, “Skyman” refuses to lean into the mystery of Carl’s claims or wind us up for a final resolution. Those elements might be present, but they’re never allowed to obscure what is essentially an empathetic, textured portrait of loneliness and loss.


Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 42 minutes. Watch at drive-in theaters.

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