FILM REVIEW: Dark Skies

dark skies “Once you’ve been chosen, you belong to them…”  If Hitchcock had made CE3K, this would come pretty close!

 

The Barret family are as “normal” a peaceful suburban family as one would hope to find in middle-calls America. Plagued by life’s usual challenges: job loss, financial difficulties, the growing pains of adolescence etc, they suddenly find their lives rocked by an escalating & disturbing events targeting their very security, as they come to learn that a terrifying out-of-this-world force is after them.

Dark Skies is quite ‘standard’ in the scare content that it delivers: refrigerator emptied in the dark of night, alarms being tripped with no apparent cause, complex geometric shapes being built out of everyday objects, passages of times disappearing, CCTV footage being tampered with, and uncanny actions by local wildlife. What I really think worked, was the way that they are delivered with emotional reaction rather than scare effect, and it is a credit to the largely unknown cast that their reactions are captured so well.

The plot was very well executed, particularly as the family unit, and then the parents relationship & trust starts to break down in the face of such improbable events happening, to such an average and “non-special” family. This particularly floats to the surface when the spectre of the children being taken into care (every parent’s nightmare) raises its head due to the erratic behaviour of the parents, as they react to this enemy whom they cannot tangibly articulate to the authorities without fear of ridicule or worse. The addition of extra characters is subtlety done: no-one shoe-horns their way into the plot-line or mysteriously becomes key to the family, in the way that other films write in a suddenly pivotal person external to the chief protagonists. The aliens themselves are not lingered on superfluously – seeing them is not the reason for going to see this film.

I went into this movie assuming it would be just another awful The Fourth Kind-type film, and was pleasantly surprised to find its story stood strong. and overall, Dark Skies is a better experience than those other movies. It is worth seeing, just don’t go in expecting to be surprised by the “scares.”

 

GS Rating: 3.5/5
Reporter: S/Fx-67

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