Director: Scott Stewart
Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kaden Rockett, J.K. Simmons
Written by: Scott Stewart
Running Time: 97 mins
Release date: 3rd April 2013
There are several things to learn when watching trailers: they are made to make a film look inviting and interesting and they have all the best bits in them. A perfect example of the art of trailer making has to be Dark Skies. We are led to believe this is another terrifying tale from the producers of Insidious and Sinister. We are also shown shots of very odd things going on that will send chills down those who watch. Well the thing about Dark Skies trailer is, it’s all lies. Dark Skies, it has to be said, is an unbelievable bore.
Lacey and Daniel Barrett are struggling. Daniel is out of work and finding it difficult to cope with the everyday headaches of bills while Lacey, who does work as an estate agent, is finding it hard to sell a particular property. They have two boys, one going through those awkward teenage, rebellious years, Jesse, and Sam, a small child who has nightmares about the sandman, mainly fed by his older brother.
Their household becomes the focus of some very strange goings-on; food thrown over the floor, objects piled up in the night, whole gallery of photos disappearing. They wonder someone is entering their home but when three flocks of birds come crashing into their house, they soon realise that it’s not an intruder of the normal kind.
If you are a regular reader of my reviews, you will probably know I’m not a great lover of modern horrors, especially those who rely on the quiet, quiet, quiet, LOUD school of making you jump. Well firstly let me assure you that this isn’t a horror. It is a science fiction film about aliens (and I am not giving away a spoiler her). The reason it is not a horror is because nothing horrific happens. In fact what does happen we have seen time and time again in movies just like this. We’ve seen food all over the place (Close Encounters), we’ve seen objects balanced on top of each other (Poltergeist). As a matter of fact, this film is Poltergeist meets Close Encounters with a touch of Invasion of the Body Snatchers thrown in for good measure.
Writer/director Scott Stewart seems to have this amazing idea that will have his audience jumping out of their seats while not actually set in the usual horror genre format. He thinks by throwing everything he has at the screen, something is going to stick. Actually, nothing does. The high-point of the whole film comes in the form of an all-too-brief cameo appearance J.K. Simmons as an alien abduction expert, who has less than 10 minutes screen time yet lightens it up only to go away just as quick.
I like Keri Russell. A former member of the Mickey mouse Club who has gone on to be a reasonably fine actress, especially in the delightful Waitress. Here her talents are completely wasted as Lacey, the concerned and often confused mother, who looks worried, scared or just plain bewildered. Please, someone give her a part as good as that in Waitress again. Josh Hamilton as Daniel, also seems to have some talent but again standing in a garden with your mouth wide open isn’t going to get you bigger roles.
The film drags and it’s 95 minute running time just seems to go on and on. There’s a twist at the end but it’s not so much a shock, more a “who cares?”
This is a dull film that doesn’t help the cause of modern horrors/sci-fi shockers and if you want to experience genuine chills with aliens and ghosts, then rent out Poltergeist and Close Encounters and watch them back-to-back but seriously, don’t bother with this. According to the poster, They’re coming! Well please hurry up and go away.