Monday, 11 June 2018


'In the heart of mid-America, among the forests and streams, something terrifying lurks. During the summer of 2013, a woman’s world is turned upside down after seeing a creature cross the road in front of her one afternoon. She soon realizes that she is not alone on her own property and struggles to separate the truth from her own obsession. After some digging, she finds others in town who have similar stories to tell. Her quest for answers takes her to the only place these creatures could live…the abandoned, gated woods of the back eighty.'

This poignant and emotive documentary tells a disquieting tale about the experiences of Bigfoot witness Suzanne Ferancek, who had several encounters between 2013 - 14, around what is commonly known as the Back 80 - an 80 acre area of heavy forest near Loudenville, Ohio.

Suzanne's first sighting occurred after she had pulled over on Township Road 211, to photograph some horses. It was here that she witnessed a large, bipedal  'stringy haired' animal, leap, 'superman-like', across the road ahead, in a way that would be impossible for those normal mortals among us, or any bear out there, to physically replicate! 

Her description of the creature bears all the hallmarks of a classic 'Road-Squatch' sighting, in its bipedal presentation, hair covered body and inhuman athleticism, in clearing the road (in this case in a single bound!) It also corroborates many other descriptive sightings of what has come to be known as the 'Ohio Grassman', in the 5th most Squatchy state in the USA!

The directors carefully rebuild the telling of this, now concluded, tale, in a way that makes the viewer feel as though they are living the sightings in real time, alongside the witness. 
The documentary feels eerie and dark and sums up the post-traumatic seclusion and reconciliation with normality, that many witnesses of the undiscovered and unknown animals of this world, have to go through, in rewriting reality. To add to this, Suzanne's exploration of related sightings in the area, brings home the reality of her precarious situation, sharing her property with what she postulates is a lone male bigfoot, that has seemingly staked a claim to the territory around her neighbourhood. 

The film features a very chilling recreation of a close encounter Suzanne had on her property one night in 2014, whilst sitting out on her porch typing away on her laptop and Her re-enactment here,  of her retreat into her home, after 
hearing large footsteps and a deep growl coming from behind her house, leaves you feeling that you are there with her. It should probably not, in my opinion,  be watched alone at home, without an axe-proof blanket or similar Squatch-proof comforter of some kind, near to hand.

As a musician, I have to admit that I wasn’t completely sold on all of the eerie sound effects, as I felt the story was compelling enough without this overemphasis of atmosphere; but it doesn't detract from t
he excellent storytelling of Twisted Tree Productions,  Alan Megargle & Jesse Morgan; and there are also other nice pieces of music to enjoy throughout the film. 

To sum up this film in one word, I would say that it's 're-watchable' and one can find oneself, easily immersed in its easy and original style.
The Back 80 is available to rent or buy here

Written by Andrew McGrath, Author of Beasts of Britain

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