Seth Breedlove's Latest Documentary and Why We Should All Be Afraid of Monsters.
In a small lonely town, in a dark lonely wood, a lonely monster withdraws from its strange lonely world and enters the realm of human myth. Seth Breedlove’s latest Small Town Monsters production, The Flatwoods Monster, tells the tale of a strange tall sentinel and the May family which bumped into it one evening in 1952.
Significant research has been done on the Flatwoods monster, a complex collection of both real information and fiction, but Breedlove’s documentary successfully tells the story from the perspective of two of the witnesses who were present, Edward and Fred May, the sons of Kathleen May, who also was present at the event. Bolstering the famous encounter, other stories from the West Virginian community of strange objects in the sky and curious creatures in the woods support the county’s long standing history with anomalous activity.
The documentary’s stellar visuals and animated sequences are an eerie mixture of computer generated graphics and stop motion. The original musical score adds to the general creepy feeling of events which come off as both horrifyingly true and absurd. Whether you believe in monsters or not, you walk away with the hope that they are not real.
Breedlove does not waste his time in this film asking the same old questions which many of his uninspired peers continue to ask. It doesn't matter who or what the monster is, for that question can never really be answered. Instead, he touches upon the only question worth our time. He proposes a world where monsters are real, but more importantly, the monsters themselves evolve with their legends. Can monsters be both objective and subjective simultaneously? Are they what we make of them, yet at the same time, truly haunt quiet deserted areas of a forest where an unsuspecting mother and her sons can bump into them?
This is where the film truly makes its deepest impression. Not rehashing old tales of the things that go bump in the night, but the possible reality that the bumping is simultaneously fact and fiction, true and absurd, and that the arbitrary lines we draw between what is real and what is not are illusions. We do not need to believe in monsters for them to exist, yet in some quiet and lonely place within our minds, a gap inbetween worlds, monsters come out to roam dark highways where automobiles stall and hapless victims throw themselves upon their wives and children in vain attempts to protect them from that which cannot be explained.
The documentary is well worth your time, and I recommend it for anyone with an interest in UFO lore. It cuts through the usual nonsense, and focuses on what truly matters; the people who were forever changed by seeing something the rest of us hopefully never will.
Whatever lurks in the hills around Flatwoods and stalks farmer’s fields scaring children, it is in metamorphosis; ever changing with the times and in communion with our imaginations. Breedlove’s film is not frightening because he suggests that monsters may be real, it is frightening because we make them so.
- MJ Banias