Invasion on Chestnut Ridge Film Review

By Joseph Perry (@JosephWPerryJWP;

File Aug 16, 7 50 47 PM.jpeg

Some locations are well known for certain types of unusual activity, hosting a higher than average amount of reports of either UFO, cryptid, or other strange phenomena. The southern Pennsylvania area of Chestnut Ridge is seemingly such an area, as Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, the latest terrific documentary from director/co-writer/producer Seth Breedlove and the Small Town Monsters crew, relates.

File Aug 16, 8 08 41 PM (1).jpeg

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge recounts, for starters, the well known Kecksburg UFO crash of December 1965, in which many witnesses claim to have seen a fireball streaking across the sky and then landing. Some say that a military presence arrived soon thereafter; several people recount reports of a metallic, acorn-shaped object being sighted. Wherever alleged UFO crashes occur, Men in Black and official cover-up accounts are usually not far behind, and the documentary presents stories of these, as well.

File Aug 16, 8 09 26 PM.jpeg

But that is only the beginning of area’s high strangeness, as a rash of Bigfoot sightings occurred in the area in the early 1970s, including accounts tying the cryptid legends with alien spacecraft. Other weird beasts and sightings are also discussed, but I’ll save those surprises for future Invasion on Chestnut Ridge viewers.

As with Small Town Monsters’ previous four films, Breedlove and company Invasion on Chestnut Ridge sets the scene nicely with some local color and area history. Alleged witnesses and other interview subjects are treated fairly, and are allowed to explain their personal encounters with or theories of the unknown in an even-handed manner.  Breedlove and his crew also offer views from historians and researchers to shine further light on what may have happened in this vast, forested region.

Photo Aug 09, 2 22 53 PM.jpg

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge is a thought-provoking, wonderfully shot documentary that avoids sensationalizing its subject matter, focusing instead on presenting historical and eye-witness accounts, along with charming looks at the bucolic areas in which they occurred. The filmmakers occasionally use animated recreations of beastly encounters, or some other special effects touches to create a properly eerie mood. These are done in good taste and keep things intriguing. 

Photo Aug 09, 2 29 11 PM.jpg

Small Town Monsters’ previous documentaries are Minerva Monster (2015), Beast of Whitehall (2016), Boggy Creek Monster (2016), and The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017). Invasion on Chestnut Ridge is a fine introduction to this filmmaking group’s body of work, and should appeal greatly to both Fortean enthusiasts and curious newcomers to the subjects.

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge is now available to rent or own streaming, and on DVD. For more information, visit Small Town Monsters’ official website at,
or their Facebook page at or on Twitter at @SmlTownMonsters.

Joseph Perry is one of the hosts of When It Was Cool’s exclusive Uphill Both Ways podcast ( and Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast (
He also writes for the retro pop culture website That’s Not Current (, the Gruesome Magazine horror movie website (, and several other print and online film critique and pop culture magazines.  

If you found this article interesting consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  That is how When It Was Cool keeps our website and podcasts online, plus you get lots of bonus content including extra and extended podcasts, articles, digital comics, ebooks, and much more.  Check out our Patreon Page to see what's up!

If you don't want to use Patreon but still want to support When It Was Cool then how about a one time $5 PayPal donation? Thank you!