Film: Werewolves Unearthed
Director: Ward Hiney
Writer: Chad Christy
Starring: Chad Christy
This is a documentary that I got the chance to see as a screener thanks to Justin Cook. Originally, I saw Small Town Monsters' name attached so I figured this was another one from Seth Breedlove. He is involved here, but it looks like he is branching out and allowing other filmmakers to collaborate with his crew in making docs like this. That intrigued me. What is also interesting is that I've lived in Cleveland, Ohio, which isn't far from where the focal of these urban legends. Unfortunately, I wasn't familiar with the lore.
Synopsis: filmmaker Ward Hiney and journalist Chad Christy aim to figure out the truth behind werewolf sightings in Pennsylvania.
To get more specific from that synopsis, this is focused on Northwest Pennsylvania. Hiney and Christy are interviewing people who have met this Dogman or werewolf like creature. What is interesting here is that there seems to be an overlap with Bigfoot sightings. This other cryptid isn't as prevalent in the area, but that doesn't mean there isn't local legends surrounding it either.
This duo interviews different people from the area. They focus on and come back to a good handful of times in this documentary are a couple of friends who are paranormal investigators. They've been friends since childhood and have run into this werewolf-like creature multiple times. There is one instance that shook them to their core. It caused them to look up information and that led them to something referred to as the 'Ohio Howl'. There are others that have their own experiences to tell, one being a hunter and another being a couple from the area.
What makes this stand out is that Christy doesn't believe there is a monster like this. Even though that is his stance, he doesn't diminish or refute what is being told to him. I respect that professionalism and I feel like that is how I would manage things if I was a member of the team. He is out there to gather the information and then make our own decisions. I do respect that this isn't necessarily here to influence the viewer one way or the other. The Small Town Monsters docs are good for this.
There are other interesting locations that this takes us to. A man they interview who seems like a local historian directs them to a cemetery to find something called the Heritage Trail where there have been sightings. They converse with a woman who ran a 'magic' shop of sorts who supposedly talk to a man who claimed to be a werewolf. She also tells them about an area where there could be a cult running. She doesn't believe they are werewolves, but the ritual they are doing is to change them. That is creepy to be honest. Another aspect is that our duo goes out into the woods to see if they can get something on camera or recording audio.
What I'll then say is that this is well-made. They do select interesting individuals to interview. There is something that is brought up that people in this area get nervous when asked about their encounters. That gives an eerie vibe that maybe there could be a cult that they're afraid of. More than likely, they are proud small town people that don't want to be mocked by telling their story on camera. The cinematography is professional. This is a well put together documentary. I also like that a few different times that computers are used to reconstruct elements of stories being told. That adds an element for me.
In conclusion, this isn’t a documentary that is going to give you much in the way of folklore. What is given is what is needed and help to fill in backstory to what is being relayed by those that have meet this creature. This one hits closer to home having lived fairly close to the area. I've also lived in the country which can be spooky at times. This is a well-made documentary and even though I don't believe it, hearing these stories make me uneasy. I can't refute what they said while there still being a potentially logical explanation. I'd recommend it if you like cryptid documentaries like this.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10