Forests are an inexpensive way to add production value to a feature, as they are naturally ornate backgrounds. As I review many low-budget genre fare, I have already seen miles of forest footage this year alone. White Sky has the most luscious woodland footage I have run into in a while. Utilizing the latest consumer-level tech advances, such as hi-res and drones, Wilson’s presentation does not expose the budgetary limitations of the picture. This is great news for independent film as a whole, as it further removes the barriers between the big studios and the outlaws in terms of what can be produced.
White Sky looks like a million bucks without the director needing to spend a fraction of that. The horror element is very well handled as the Altered look terrifying, and the clouds of dust they kick up adds atmosphere, especially when running through the trees in the dark. The actors’ performances are believable and well delivered, while Daay’s script keeps the genre elements simple.
“…looks like a million bucks…”
The details behind the alien invasion are never revealed, keeping things mysterious. While the idea of aliens dumping pesticides on Earth was first explored by Fredric Brown almost 70 years ago in Pattern, this is the first time I remember it being used in cinema. Daay does go heavy on the human drama, keeping a level of engagement that keeps the story propelling forward even without the horror/sci-fi angle. While viewers will recognize echoes of 28 Days Later, I was more intrigued by how those melded with the Trainspotting tones injected into the script. Adding drug drama to a classic British space zombie scenario parlays exciting complications to the character interaction that keeps the pace up.
However, there seems to be a deeper motive on the focus on narcotics in the storyline. While the spaceship doesn’t literally drop tons of China White on the city cause if they did, the Altered would run a lot slower, the white powder imagery runs throughout the movie. The idea of humans being altered into a destructive living virus is an apt metaphor for opiate addiction. White Sky is a superbly crafted science fiction-horror hybrid that gives chills that will be felt in the veins of all watching.
"…gore scenes utilize sci-fi elements to allow a dream-like freedom to conjure stranger scenes of nastiness."