Since the release of THE MINERVA MONSTER in 2015 Small Town Monsters has built a reputation for producing interesting and well made documentaries on various strange phenomena mostly involving cryptozoology, the study of legendary creatures such as Bigfoot. With their most recent release INVASION ON CHESTNUT RIDGE and now THE FLATWOODS MONSTER they’ve expanded to UFOs and their occupants.
Based on an incident that happened in the town of Flatwood West Virginia on September 12, 1952. Several local boys and the mother of two of them headed into the hills outside of town after they saw something apparently crash. When they got near the area they encountered a nauseating stench that made their eyes water. Shining a flashlight on what they thought were the eyes of a racoon they saw something else entirely. A seven to ten foot creature with glowing eyes wearing gliding towards them. Quite sensibly they bolted in the other direction.
THE FLATWOODS MONSTER follows the format of other Small Town Monsters films and uses a mix of animated recreations and interviews to tell the story. This time they have to rely a bit more on animation and interviews with people other than those who witnessed it due to the passage of time claiming so many of them. It’s still a breezy and fun look at an incident that made national news at the time.
The appeal of something like THE FLATWOODS MONSTER will depend on the person and their attitudes towards the paranormal. The truly skeptical will naturally enough be bored and dismissive while the believers will love it. For those in between it should still be a fun watch. The animation is good with a creepy edge. The interviews are well done and stay interesting. Best of all at just under 50 minutes there’s enough time to cover the incident but not enough for it to drag.
THE FLATWOODS MONSTER will be shown Friday, March 9, 10PM as part of the Midwest WeirdFest and be released in April.