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Review: Conrad Faraj’s “Fighting the Sky”

I’ve been pining for any peak at Fighting the Sky ever since I heard about it several years ago. Its overlapping story is somewhat based in reality, focusing on the real life phenomenon where people all over the world hear booming noises coming from an unknown source high up in the atmosphere. I assumed that Fighting the Sky would focus on this, but the story went with more of an abduction and invasion mystery. Hey, it’s still better than The Fourth Kind and it’s still one of the best scifi-horror titles to deal with aliens in recent years, although it’s not exactly the indie blockbuster I was hoping for. The film stars Angela Cole, Roger Conners, Jinette Faraj, Judith Faraj, Alison Headrick, Matthew Ward, Nicole Hicks and Joe Gotschall. From writer, director, producer Conrad Faraj, Fighting the Sky is available on digital and DVD February 5, 2019 courtesy of High Octane Pictures.

Fighting the Sky follows a small, rural town that’s thrown into chaos when a dozen missing people show up one night, claiming they were abducted and taken into space. Coincidentally, the town is home to an amateur UFO hunter, who quickly rejoins her previous group to lead them on an adventure for definitive proof of otherworldly life. As they track strange noises and ominous lights in the sky, they soon discover more than they bargained for…and an alien race that wants to examine and document them by any means necessary. A story collaborated on by Conrad Faraj, David Matthew Cummings and Roger Jones, Fighting the Sky brings viewers back to the time of ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in a daring but somewhat unsuccessful way.

Fighting the Sky has a lot of high points and a lot of low points. The acting is above average for the most part, when it’s bad – god, it’s terrible. The bad acting comes more from minor parts than the lead and supporting cast, but… wow, a second or third take was warranted. Same goes for the camera work. The majority of the film was shot to perfection and edited with sophistication, but for some reason the camera quality jumps around. A handful of scenes are too bright or too flat, and one was even slightly out of focus. This could be due to my copy being a digital screener, though, but in the off chance it’s production errors, I’d like to make potential viewers aware. Also, the story is up and down, up and down, too. It’s either enthralling, fantastical and mysterious or it’s begging you to press the fast forward button. Again, not the critical darling I was expecting, and nothing remotely close to the poster pictured above.

So, is this going to be a negative score-getter? No, actually. What really saves Fighting the Sky is the digital effects, the alien design, and the cinematic scores. Plus, there’s a scene depicted in another decade and that takes great set design and effort. All four of these departments put Fighting the Sky in a different class of indie films, one that’s a step or two above the rest. If you’re thinking about buying or streaming your copy of this movie on February 5, 2019, just know that it’s not an action packed thrill ride. Picture it more as a longer episode of “The X Files.” Although he’s done many projects in the past, this is my first time seeing the talents of writer/director Conrad Faraj. In the future, I think he’s going to deliver many fine movies, and while Fighting the Sky may suffer from a bit of jet lag, it’s still a title that I can recommend to science fiction fans.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)