Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Film Review: Dark Skies (2013)

Dark Skies (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

The Barrett family live a normal life. Daniel, the father, has been out of work; Lacy, the mother, is trying to sell a house; Jesse, the older sibling, helps distract his brother from their parents fights, while rebelling against them; Sammy, the younger brother, is a young boy afraid of the Sandman. Their world is flipped upside down when odd things happen in their home; food is eaten, cans are oddly stacked, the alarm goes off spontaneously, and much more.

Dark Skies is a SciFi/horror film. This is not a supernatural horror film like Paranormal Activity or Insidious, it's an alien horror film; I like this approach as it is underused in a genre filled with ghost stories. The story moves at a slow pace, not necessarily intense or suspenseful. Instead, it uses its slow pace to create a dramatic experience - an experience that focuses on the situation and characters as much as it focuses on the horror. On that note, the horror mostly consists of jump-scares and some eerie visuals; most of the jump scares are good, but we've seen them before. When it isn't trying to scare, the film focuses on the aliens, called "The Grays", and their origins; the details are brief yet interesting. The ending of the film is predictable, but reassuring for fans of the film.

The acting is great. The entire cast deliver believable performances, with only some overacting during intense conversations. The design of the Grays is good, about what you'd expect an alien to look like, or at least what I expected. The direction and writing from Scott Stewart is great, a very smooth experience with few flaws. The music isn't special but it works, which is unfortunate considering the SciFi elements of the film could've spawned a unique, eerie soundtrack.

Overall, Dark Skies is a good SciFi Horror film. It never fully fleshes out its unique idea and concept, but it genuinely entertains. For fans of the genre, you're in for a solid treat. I recommend a rental for fans of the genre, considering the slow pace which may put off some viewers.
Score: 6/10

Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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