It’s funny, I actually had no intention of watching this film. I actively try to avoid horror films in the cinema just because I don’t believe in going to cinema to be scared out of my pants. Add to that the trailer for this film didn’t look all that fancy or scary either, I mean what I got from the trailer was “Oh so is this some sort of Paranormal Activity or Sinister spin-off or something? No thanks.” So yeah Dark Skies wasn’t on the cards, but then my best friend asked me to watch it along with his girlfriend last weekend, and since I can never say no to that guy I tagged along. So is Dark Skies good? Well read on to find out.
The story of the film involves the Barret family, a normal family who’s peaceful suburban life is shaken by a series of disturbing events and eventually they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.
Now I’m just going to say this right now, this film reminds me so much of Signs. I’ll try not to say much more than that for people interested in finding out what the deal is with this film, but in short this film had so many similarities that it was had to ignore them. Dark Skies is basically a more horror-based version of Signs but just not as intelligent. The story is alright for the most part, it starts out interesting enough but it moves along very slowly and once the force reveals itself I just felt seriously disappointed as it felt like a generic cop-out and I called it from around an hour before it came around. There also a lot of times when film entered very silly and cheesy territories, some of the stuff that the people do is hilarious and I know some of it was meant to be serious, but when you see someone pulling a strange face or banging their head continuously on a glass door you try to sit there and not laugh.
When it comes to characters there wasn’t anything special about any of them, the cast were fine but I didn’t find myself overly invested in the any of them. Keri Russell as Lacy Barrett was probably the most relatable and logical out of the family. Russell was fine and well considering the material she was given. As for Josh Hamilton as Daniel Barrett he was the husband and father who wasn’t all that likeable, he just didn’t come to term with the events taking place around him and his attitude towards things in general was annoying. Dakota Goyo as Jesse Barrett was fine, his character was one of those young teenagers that went off and done his own thing. His character was also a bit annoying like the dad but since he had some unintentionally funny scenes I’ll give him a little more credit haha. As for Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett he was good, Rockett played the role well and he was believed for the most part. And lastly as for J. K. Simmons as Edwin Pollard, he was decent as this specialist who helps the family out with their strange situation by supplying them with knowledge about previous situations similar to their own. This was probably the strangest and most subtle role I’ve ever seen Simmons in so far.
As for the presentation it was alright, the film was shot decently though at night there was a lot of blue to be found on-screen, while not overly distracting it was very noticeable. Also the use of CGI while not in the film that much when it did show up it was a bit hit and miss. Also the soundtrack while it did sound a bit creepy at times didn’t quite elevate the scary factor like it should have.
In conclusion Dark Skies was a film I enjoyed for the most part, it’s not amazing but it’s not totally pants either. I think I liked it because of all the stupid and cheesy scenes and references to other films too, but I do believe the film is fairly generic and is not as scary as it should have been.
Rating: 6.5/10 (Worth a watch but not as scary as it could be)