Here is a movie that falls into a genre I normally don’t watch a lot of. Unless you have something bursting out of your chest, takes place in Antarctica, or you suddenly start lacking any sort of emotion, I don’t tend to tune into movies about aliens. However, I’m glad I decided to try something a little different, as Dark Skies was an effective chiller, which played down the alien part of the movie and instead gave us a slow burn experience. Grab your probe and read on for the rest of the review…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: As the Barret family’s peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.
As I’ve already said, Dark Skies is about aliens, but not in the way you think it would be. They’re placed appropriately in the shadows and they don’t appear for a majority of the movie. Instead, we follow the lives of the Barrett family, as their life slowly falls apart, when one strange event after another starts happening. Sam (Kadan Rockett), the youngest in the family, seems to be the one who is most haunted by these strange events, as he tells his mother, Lacy (Keri Russell), that some sort of person is entering his room at night, someone he calls Sandman.
Besides the family having to worry about all this strange shit, they also have the pressure of other people questioning whether or not the father, Daniel (Josh Hamilton) and Lacy, are mistreating their kids, as some evidence is piling up against them, like bruises on the youngest and very weird markings on the oldest kid, Jesse (Dakota Goyo). Of course, we know it’s not them doing it, but it still adds to the tension and makes us worry more about what is going to happen to them. Add on the fact that this family is likeable and is just trying to get a hold of their issues and life in general, we really wish for them to make it out unscathed.
Dark Skies is actually a movie I barely have any complaints about. The people behind it seemed to know what they needed to do correctly. They kept the aliens concealed and in the shadows, so you need not worry about any crappy CGI (there is some, but it’s minimal). They didn’t go for the throat right away and instead slowly built up the tension. The only real complaint I would have, would be the one plot thread near the end, that I guessed early on. It was pretty easy to see it coming and it didn’t need to be spelt out for us, like the movie does.
Even Cave Johnson himself, J.K. Simmons shows up in a small, but vital part.
Dark Skies won’t be for everyone, as evident by the numerous negative reviews. Yet, I really enjoyed it and I had a nice helping of goosebumps throughout the movie. I was a little bit let down by the ending, but overall, this movie offered me an effective night of chills.