Film Review: The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017, Small Town Monsters)
by D.C. McGannon & C. Michael McGannon, The Monster Guys
The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017, Small Town Monsters)
Written, Directed, and Produced by: Seth Breedlove
Narrated and Produced by: Lyle Blackburn
Synopsis (from www.SmallTownMonsters.com): The documentary film looks to retell the Mothman legend through eyewitness testimony and the perspective of Point Pleasant citizens. The Mothman was first sighted in 1966 and sightings continued until around the time a bridge that connected the West Virgina town of Point Pleasant to the Ohio town of Gallopolis collapsed in 1967. The documentary will tell not only the Mothman stories but the entire thirteen month span between the first sightings and the bridge collapse.
Full Review by The Monster Guys:
Once again, Small Town Monsters delivers a triumph!
The Mothman, and the events surrounding Point Pleasant, West Virginia during the span of thirteen months between November 1966 and December 1967, is one of America’s strangest mysteries, still causing people to scratch their heads and question the reality of what happened to this day. As expected, Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters (STM) present to us a solid film, delivering their trademark core of quality storytelling born from rigid journalistic research in a sound, respectful manner. It is clear from their progression of films that Small Town Monsters is no one trick pony, but a company worthy of attention as they continue to release quality documentaries about the weird and bizarre.
From the opening frame, our immediate sentiment was that The Mothman of Point Pleasant, the fourth release from Small Town Monsters due June 2, 2017, didn’t simply raise Seth and his team to the next level of accomplishment. Instead, this documentary film about the elusive and eternally mysterious creature centered in and around Point Pleasant, skyrockets this young film studio through the stratosphere. It is, at once, and wholly, a new era of film making for Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters.
Seth (producer and director) stretches his filmmaking muscles and strengthens his storytelling chops by taking risks—serious risks that produce serious payoffs! In a world that so often seeks the next jump scare, cheap trick, and immediate thrill, Seth sticks to his guns as a master storyteller and allows the tale to tell itself—he simply and effectively gives it an interesting and engaging platform for you and for us to enjoy.
Overall, The Mothman of Point Pleasant presents us with the most coherent collection of Mothman sightings and events that we have seen so far. The film does well to avoid becoming top heavy by pulling every available story into the light, instead hitting on several key points and diving deeper into stories that have never been presented front and center about the events that took place in Point Pleasant. From encounters we had never come across in our own research of the topic, to rare gems such as old audio interviews, and the never before publicly seen video footage following the collapse of the Silver Bridge, the film shares with us small, but important details that are easily brought to light thanks to STM’s clear-cut method of presentation. Perhaps most importantly, The Mothman of Point Pleasant does well to ultimately raise a multitude of new questions in the case of the Mothman, while still satisfying the thirst for knowledge.
It’s a haunting tale to be sure, and it’s one that forever changed the lives of many people in Point Pleasant and the surrounding area. The genuineness of the people and their beloved town is a remarkable experience, and one that we hope to soon experience for ourselves in person. Seth’s vision for capturing the heart of the story shines through once more as he allows the people to tell their own story, in their own words. The eyewitness recounting and reliving of these events and experiences will send a chill up your spine.
In our opinion, the greatest special effects used in this film are the voice of Lyle Blackburn (Boggy Creek Monster), Brandon Dalo’s original score, and the visual illustrations and animations by Chris Scalf, Matt Harris, and Brandon Scalf. Enough can’t be said about Lyle Blackburn’s warm, yet engaging narration. Listening to Lyle share this story is like listening to a friend over a campfire, while simultaneously watching over your shoulder to be sure nothing is coming out of the tree line. As for Brandon Dalo’s musical masterpiece, well, if you haven’t been treated to his music yet, you’re missing out on a sublime audible interpretation. Brandon’s music is a story to itself. Add to those elements the chilling illustrations and animations by Scalf, Harris, and Scalf, which set apart from the oft disjointed and ill-inspired visual work in many documentary films, and you have a fully inspired, memorable viewing experience.
Small Town Monsters has placed us in the midst of a resilient people, surrounded by lush environment, and within the context of what is possibly one of the most important, if not challenging, monster tales in America today. Watching The Mothman of Point Pleasant is like watching a team of people dig up and open a time capsule from the mid-1960s, only to realize its contents is as relevant and impactful today as it was when it was buried at the foot of the Silver Bridge in 1967.
The Mothman of Point Pleasant does not settle for the common explanation, nor is satisfied with what has been given to us thus far about this cryptic story. Proving his willingness and ability to dig beyond the surface, Seth reaches deep and pulls elements, incidents, and answers out of these events that, until now, have been buried with that fictive time capsule. You will learn from this documentary—even if you believe you know the story of the Mothman—as much as you will be entertained.
What we are given is a stellar visit to Point Pleasant, revisiting a case that to this day baffles many, with a balance of substance and presentation that is hallmark to Small Town Monsters, which is crucial to getting to the heart of the story in an era of clickbait and videos that rely on chatter. The Mothman of Point Pleasant takes an approach that is uniquely different from previous ventures by Small Town Monsters, while continuing to pay respect to the facts—and the questions—and avoiding sensationalizing the very serious eyewitness reports. This film continues to build trust between those eyewitnesses and Seth and his team, as well as with their audience.
A stunning film, indeed.
In our opinion, The Mothman of Point Pleasant is the documentary film event of 2017—that is, of course, unless Seth and the Small Town Monsters team decides to one up themselves with their next release, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, due out in October. Do these guys ever sleep?
To learn more about The Mothman of Point Pleasant and other films by Small Town Monsters, please visit www.SmallTownMonsters.com.
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Also, catch our in-depth interview with Seth Breedlove and Lyle Blackburn about The Mothman of Point Pleasant on The Monster Guys Podcast on our June 1st episode.
Listen to our previous episodes with Seth and Lyle on The Monster Guys Podcast:
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