Film Review: Dark Skies (A Creepy Mix of Horror and Science-Fiction)

                                                   Is it aliens, a poltergeist, a demon perhaps?

dark skiesIf you want to figure out the answer by watching the film, avoid the trailers. I’m getting more and more pissed off at trailers for movies these days. I fail to understand how the production team behind them can’t hold back and save some twists for the audience. Is there a need for trailers to run over 2 minutes and spoil every scary scene and surprise? (Okay, I’m taking a deep breath now, then I’m cracking open a bottle of wine. Tis Friday evening, after all).

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Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton are a young couple with two kids struggling to make the mortgage payments on their home in a beautiful, middle class suburban neighbourhood. Dad is unemployed and Mom’s ability to sell rental homes isn’t going too well, especially when she tells potential clients they can do better elsewhere. They have two young sons who do their best to ignore the voices of their arguing parents seeping through their bedroom walls. All very normal family problems so far.

Until Keri comes downstairs one night to find the fridge open, food all over the kitchen floor and the back door open. They write it off as an animal. Solution? Make sure all the doors and windows are locked. The next night, Keri walks into the kitchen and stops short. Every item of food has been stacked in a weird geometric shape. We’ve entered Paranormal Activity territory, is what I thought at that point. The disturbances get worse as the days and nights go on. The youngest son, in particular, seems to be affected. I’ll stop there as I don’t want to spoil the rest of the film.

I liked the family. Keri Russell has always exuded sincerity in the roles she’s played. I wanted Keri and her family to make it through the nightmare. One of my favourite scenes was when they visited an expert (J.K. Simmons) in his dingy apartment hoping for answers and help to put the ordeal behind them. He puts them through a test first to rule them out as crazies. At that moment, I felt like I was watching an old episode of The X-Files – I got the chills and goosebumps I’ve long missed from Mulder and Scully’s early days. On more than a few occasions, Dark Skies reminded me of the alien invasion film, Signs. Probably because Dark Skies focuses on family, showing them banding together and later protecting their home.

Why Keri continued to walk around the house at night in the dark, I could never figure out. I had the same question for Ethan Hawke while watching Sinister. “Turn on the bloody light,” I once again found myself shouting at the screen.

Dark Skies wasn’t brilliant – in fact it seems to be getting fairly mediocre reviews, but I really liked it. I’d sum it up as an old fashioned scary film with a sci-fi edge. ****

Has anyone seen this? TGIF and have a great weekend.

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20 thoughts on “Film Review: Dark Skies (A Creepy Mix of Horror and Science-Fiction)

  1. This movie quickly became one of my favorites so I’m glad you liked it! One of my favorite scenes is when the mom picks out the dog. 🙂 The whole story made me think of the X-Files too. I really miss that series and hope they’re coming out with the third movie…

    1. Yes, that was smart of her.
      I got a total X-Files vibe watching this. I miss The X-Files too, Jen. I got chills every time the theme song played many many years ago.

  2. Oh, I miss the X-files, too. I don’t get into these kind of shows much because I am such a wimp. I jump at the stupidest things, but this sounds interesting. Now I just need to convince my husband 🙂 If it is anything like the X-files, I would probably love it.

  3. I really want to see this. I haven’t watched the trailers. I try to turn them off when they pop up on the TV. I think I’ll like this one.

    1. I turn them off too but when you’re at the cinema, it’s hard to block out the big screen and audio coming through the loudspeakers. 🙂 I remember seeing the trailer for The Time Traveler’s Wife and they showed the entire story. I was seething!

    1. It’s spooky in places, not gory or anything and they’re the type of horrors I enjoy most. The dreaded to-be-watched list, ha.

  4. Man, I don’t usually go for the scary movies, but between the comparison to X-Files (which I found interesting) and the fact that Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton are in it, I may just have to watch this. Thanks a lot. If I have nightmares, I’m going to send them to Ireland. 😉

    1. If you get around to seeing it, give me a shout, Kitt. I’d love to know what you thought. Send them away, they might inspire me to write a spooky story.
      Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Good review Emma. For me, the movie worked because it paid attention to characters that are worth caring about and rooting for. It gets corny by the end, but at least it still stays fun.

  6. I’ve been curious about this. They’ve been advertising it on Direct TV a lot. Thanks for this review. When I have the free time I’ll add it. I just have to make sure I won’t be watching it at an hour that will stay with me into my sleep. No thinks. 😉

    1. The first few times the mom walks downstairs at night gave me the chills. I was telling my sister about it and she just shook her head – no way. 🙂
      Make your hubby watch it with you. There’s safety in numbers.

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