Film Review – The Sky Has Fallen (2009)

The Sky Has Fallen 2009

The Sky Has Fallen

Written, Produced, Directed & Edited by Doug Roos

Starring Carey MacLaren, Laurel Kemper, Cory Knisely

Review by Jordan

Energetically independent, enthusiastically relentless and clearly made by a director who himself relishes the material, The Sky Has Fallen is the sort of spirited genre flick filled with the undead legions and parasitic gore a young Sam Raimi might’ve like to have made before adding a chapter to horror folklore with The Evil Dead.

Lance and Rachel (Carey MacLaren & Laurel Kemper) are two survivors in a world that has succumbed to an alien disease, with victims being taken away by ghoulish, blurred, hooded figures and returning mutated; seeking to tear apart those still human. Their paths cross in a mysterious forest, in which Lance believes stands the leader of the enemy, and despite the lingering stench of death closing in around them they forge on to kill it.

With a samurai sword in tow and handgun at the ready, our hero, as well as the woodland setting and constant, flesh-eating threat, will remind cult film enthusiasts immediately of Ryûhei Kitamura‘s bonkers Yakuza/zombie splatter-fest Versus, made in 2000 (read our review here). Versus has rightfully achieved a strong reputation, but it can still be maintained that its flaw is an overly convoluted plot and excessive running time in the place of tension and taut editing – The Sky Has Fallen has no such issue, but that’s not to say its a better movie.

Lance, with his habit of cutting off people’s sentences is no Prisoner KSC2-303, and certainly nor is he Ash, who we root for because he battles the once-dead with a thinly veiled level of fear peeking though from behind the machismo, as opposed to a stoic determination to amputate limbs whilst making every effort not to flinch. He does though manage to woo Rachel, so perhaps I’m not giving him the credit he deserves.

The real hero here though is the practical effects. CGI can never match what it used to gruesome effect here, with make-up, wounds and transformations that would make Tom Savini proud. The Sky Has Fallen is a film made on a modest budget with modest resources, but the energy expelled in nailing this part of the experience does represent the intent of the entire picture. This isn’t a movie for everyone, but its encouragement to further explore the cinema landscape and support up and coming artists.

3 samurai swords out of 5

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4 responses to “Film Review – The Sky Has Fallen (2009)

  1. You had me at “parasitic gore”. Haha. Great review. I’m always on the hunt for good indie horrors. You guys are great for that.

    You got me with “gore”, but you kept me with the Sam Raimi comparison. Thanks for mentioning Versus too. Now I have a couple flicks to trackdown.

    • Oh, I guess I should return the favor and recommend a couple myself. Ever see recent French horror flicks like High Tension, Martyrs, L’Interiur (Inside) ? They’re all great, but definitely not for the weak of heart!

      • Ha no worries mate, Versus is one bonkers film but both are worth tracking down.
        Oh absolutely love them man! Great choices. That whole French new wave of extremism produced some great titles – I reviewed Martyrs a while back, I’d be interested to know if you agree with my take on it!

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