Monday, May 13, 2013

Review - Dark Skies (2013)

Starring Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton and Dakota Goyo.
Directed by Scott Stewart.

Dark Skies is director Scott Stewart's third film. His prior releases were Legion and Priest and I can't forget how awful they were. His latest effort is much improved although it doesn't add anything new to the horror genre. We meet the Barrett family, who are having financial issues and have to be cutting back on necessities. Then one day Lacy Barrett (Keri Russell) starts to notice strange happenings around the house. Her husband Daniel (Josh Hamilton) is reluctant to believe but it becomes more and more evident as the movie goes along, that the house is being haunted by some strange being who also begins to affect the family.

The plot of Dark Skies is nothing original; it is pretty much what we've see a million times before in previous horror films as it involves house hauntings. However in this movie, the antagonist of the film happens to be aliens from outer space - you know, instead of some pissed off revengeful ghoul who once lived in the house. Apparently these aliens terrorise their victims and then take off with one of them. The two main characters (Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton) were pretty solid and emotionally convincing. You could actually feel their pain as things began to spiral out of control. We don't see a lot of the alien ghosts but the movie still does a good job at building tension. Instead of just relying on dark shots in corners and angles for scares - the movie focuses on the Barrett family and their horrific experiences as a result of the haunting, not to mention how it affects their relationships. I found this rather effective enough to keep my attention for its duration and it was further aided by a decent script and decent acting.

At first we have no clue about the aliens purpose and what not, but the film does a decent job in providing some fitting back-story in the second half of the film. Like most horror films these days, there is little to no frights. However kudos to Dark Skies for trying to switch it up a little with the inclusion of aliens instead and for not just relying on generic scares only. I think they could have also done a better job with how the aliens looked and were presented. They looked cheap and they sure as hell didn't seem that scary.

What separates Dark Skies from a lot of other recent crappy horror films is that you can actually see some effort. Yes it's predictable and yes there isn't a whole lot of scares but the positive thing is, you didn't feel overly annoyed while watching it. The ending sets it up for a sequel and it is one I wouldn't mind.

Rating: 6.5/10

Movies Also Watched:

No (2012)
Intelligent and grabbing political drama. I loved the texture of this film; it was very effective for various shots which also defined the era. - 9/10

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Fun, silly and soulful with really great musical numbers. I enjoyed this movie. - 9/10

Mother (Madeo) (2009)
An enthralling, twisty and funny Korean dark comedy with great performances. - 10/10

Gattaca (1997)
An engaging and well written sci-fi drama. Who needs money when you got good DNA. - 9.5/10

Videodrome (1983)
I didn't quite understand every aspect of Videodrome but most of it was still interestingly odd. - 7/10

MASH (1970)
A totally hilarious and effective war comedy with dope characters. - 10/10


  1. Glad to see you enjoyed it. I didn't really like it, found it boring and cliched a bit.

    1. It's nothing special but alas I didnt hate it

  2. Couldn't agree more. It has every cliche in the book but its somehow different.