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Dark Skies Review (2013)

My History With the Film:
I vaguely remember Dark Skies coming out in 2013, and the poster is memorable so I’ve seen it when browsing films, but I wasn’t sure if it was a found footage movie or not. I never heard anyone mention the film before, so it was totally off my radar until one day when I went searching for 1996’s The Arrival and I ran across Dark Skies. That’s when I realized it was about aliens so I decided to give it a watch.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
As the Barrett family’s peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them, one which may have arrived from beyond the stars.

What I Liked About It:
-This film does an amazing job of showing the collateral damage that would come out of a possible alien visitation. The scary part is the psychological part. How it would effect your job, your relationships, and your community. How quickly your credibility goes down and how paranoia would be almost as bad as anything that is actually going on.

-The slow burn really works, but the movie runs too long and I almost tell it was pitched originally as a found footage film. The fantastic performances from the core family: Keri Russell (Lacy), Josh Hamilton (Daniel), Dakota Goyo (Jesse), and Kadan Rockett (Sam) that really sell the movie. Simple acting ticks such as the way they hold their mouths or the white lies told to spare each other pain are convincing and really make you care about the family.

-When you see our antagonist, it works quite well.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-There are some massive plot holes, especially towards the end. This film thrives on it’s believability and convincing real life situations, but then throws that all away in the last twenty-five minutes.

-When the family talks to an “alien expert” it couldn’t be more cliché. He lives alone, in an apartment with cats, newspaper clippings litter the walls next to all his books.

-The movie gives you an Insidious vibe, but Insidious did it much better.

Additional Notes:
-Director/Screenwriter Scott Stewart wrote the screenplay in six weeks.

-The film was originally pitched as a found footage film.

-Keri Russell was the first and only choice for the female lead.

After thinking about Dark Skies for a few days, I realize I enjoyed it more than I thought. Initially I was quite disappointed with the movie, but now I feel very “meh” about it. It told a familiar story with an unusual villain and showed moments of a greatness and moments of stupidity. It was a very average movie, one that I think will be quite forgettable for me in the very near future.

I rate Dark Skies as three out of five and say it’s a low priority rental for fans of aliens and Keri Russell and skip it for the rest.

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