Dark Skies Review
"Dark Skies" is a movie about a family that is stalked by creatures from another world. Very strange things occur and disrupt the order of a typical Suburban family, especially bothering the children. At the beginning of the movie we learn that the kids are at an age where they believe in the Sandman and they blame him for the strange happenings in the house.
For the most part, "Dark Skies" is pretty cool. There is a great quote from the late sci/fi author Arthur C. Clarke that really sets the mood. Writer and director Scott Stewart is certainly capable of creating thrilling scenes. Sadly, those scenes are far and in between. The acting is about as good as it can get for movies like this. And the lead Keri Russell is an actress I have liked for awhile now, and she does good work here. So do Dakota Goyo and Kadan Rockett who play the family's children. I said it last week, and I'll say it again, spooky children freak me out immensely.
One thing that kind of bothered me though was that the film feels very repetitive. A strange occurrence happens in the house, a cop shows up, finds nothing. A strange occurrence happens in the house, a cop shows up, finds nothing. A strange occurrence happens in the house, a cop shows up, finds nothing. This happens for the entire first half hour. It gets very stale very fast.
The other problem I found with "Dark Skies" is that it feels like pieces of a bunch of other horror films. There is scene where the mother walks into the kitchen in the middle of the night to find her pantry food staked in a bizarre way. Right away, I thought of "Poltergeist" and the chairs on the dinner table. The obsession with researching aliens that goes on with the family seemed very reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs." Birds flying into windows seems like a cliche I thought was done for in movies, but it seems Stewart is making a comeback. There's even a scene with cameras that really reminds me of "Paranormal Activity," that plus lots of people go outside in the middle of the night, not remembering how they got there.
The tense moments in the movie are so good that they belong in a better movie. And I also think the last twenty minutes of the movie in particular are draining and somber. A great ending to a movie like this, I just wished the entire movie could have fired on the cylinders of the ending. There is a lot to admire from "Dark Skies," but the I only wish the script wasn't so sloppy.
FINAL GRADE: C