Right off the bat it was not hard to tell that this was going to be a mediocre movie. The biggest give-away has to be the fact that this is a horror film – a genre that as of late has been producing only slightly higher quality content than a homeless man urinating up a wall.
It’s a sad state of affairs, because there is nothing more satisfying than being truly scared by a movie. Okay, yeah, some films are startling and will make you jump, but that’s not the same – especially considering you can get the same effect by just browsing the internet regularly. Horror movies have a great chance to engross you in their world, to envelope you with a dark and tense atmosphere, to make you paranoid, afraid – but instead they squander that by trying to make you brown-up your pants with a cheap tactic that a little jackass 8 year old could pull off.
Dark Skies follows the Barret family, or as they will be referred to in this review: “That horror movie family.” (You know the one, the quaint little family of four – made up of average everyday suburban American parents, and a couple outcast or disturbed children – one or both of whom usually have some kind of curse or ailment inflicted upon them.) Strange things start happening to That horror movie family (as they tend to), which leads them to believe that some kind of evil or dark force is trying to hurt them in some way. It eventually comes to light that the evil force is actually after one of their children. Wow – Who saw that coming?
This plot is getting recycled like nobodies business lately – the basic foundation is used in The Haunting in Conneticut, Paranormal Activity 2, Insidious – Dark Skies is essentially the bastard offspring of the three.
The whole film plays like a poor man’s Insidious – It’s basically the same film except instead of Demons pissing everybody off, it’s Aliens. The plot seems to follow the same basic footsteps, the characters are all very similar, and the overall feel of the film is nearly identical – although Dark Skies is considerably less scary.
The acting is all right, as usual the child actors are about as convincing as a white transit van with the word “Candy” written on the side in red paint – although they can hardly be blamed for that, since they are kids. The adult actors aren’t that much better really, but their performances are no worse than what you would expect from a typical horror flick.
The sounds and visuals are also all right – nothing special, akin to most other modern ‘horror’ films. The CGI is probably the absolute low point of the visuals, but other than that, it’s acceptable.
The real kicker to this film is just the flat out stupidity that goes on within it. Like in most horror films, the dad is a sceptic, immediately disregarding any crazy theories despite all of the unexplainable shit that is happening to him and no matter how much evidence supports the theory. This is a device that most films to use to pad the story out a little, to create a conflict of some kind, but it’s just frustrating to watch them disregard a possible idea just because: “lol its probably nothing.” The film relies heavily on character stupidity to push the plot forwards honestly. “the aliens are after my kids, the expert told us to stick together as a unit – lol, lets split up and lock the kids alone in a dark room!”
The movie overall is just very so-so. It’s just another boring “it cud hapn 2 u” American horror to add to the pile – which was long ago promoted to a mountain. Sure, the film will make you jump occasionally, but that’s not really a point in its favour. If you’re looking for a few little thrills, and not much depth or horror, this film is worth checking out – unless you’ve seen Insidious, in which case don’t bother.
Verdict: Like realising that absolutely delicious meal you just ate has given you the squirts (4/10)
My face when watching: