Movie: Dark Skies
Director: Scott Stewart
Studio: Entertainment One, Blumhouse Productions
It seems like every other week there is a new haunted house or demon possession movie. This style of horror has overtaken Hollywood due to its cost effectiveness. Those movies are cheap and no matter how bad they are they always seem to make money. What if this time it is not a ghost or demon or whatever other supernatural thing messing with a family in the suburbs, but aliens? If that idea sounds entertaining to you then you are in for a treat because Dark Skies is that movie and it will definitely implant itself under your skin.
Dark Skies is pretty much as “by the numbers” as you can get with an alien abduction type movie. A family in the suburbs start experiencing unexplainable things happening to their house as they sleep. Soon things go from weird to worryingly bizarre as members of the family exhibit strange behavior and blackouts. It seems that an extraterrestrial presence is behind these events and it soon becomes a frantic search for answers as the family prepares for the worst.
I am not going to lie to you, Dark Skies is not going to be competing for any awards. That being said, if you can get into the story it is a very fun and chilling ride. It has some very great atmospheric scares and the aliens are rarely seen but very creepy. It may be a haunted house type set up but it is very refreshing to see something other than ghosts or demons terrorizing a family. The mediocre acting is easy to overlook for the sake of the story (much like watching The X-Files). Even J.K. Simmons was underwhelming, probably due to his small role with no real chance for character development.
One of the most interesting aspects of Dark Skies is the family. In the midst of all the chaos life continues to roll on. The dad still needs to find a job, the mom needs to sell a house, and the older son tries to find love. That may sound like a lot of plot to cram into 95 minutes but the movie never felt too rushed or too busy. Even better is how the town reacts to this seemingly normal family slowly going crazy. There are some very real family moments sprinkled throughout the film and it really helps you connect to the characters.
If you are already a fan of sci-fi thrillers then Dark Skies is definitely worth seeing in theaters. If you are not, maybe just wait and rent it in a few months. I left the theater feeling very uneasy (in a good way) and I got goosebumps more times watching this movie than any other horror in recent memory. Whether or not it is worth the ticket price is up to you, but I would absolutely recommend seeing it one way or another.
Review written by: Justin Proper