January 30, 2015

Movie Review: Dark Skies

I didn't see Dark Skies when it was in theaters, although I was curious about the movie. Unlike many other films about extraterrestrials, this one boasts superb acting and a pretty compelling premise. When I ran across the movie on Netflix I figured I had nothing other than some time to lose, so I took the plunge. 
The movie is about an average family in a suburb. They start to experience strange things, like birds flying into their house, intruders who stack things up in weird configurations, and strange marks left on their bodies. Things get weirder and weirder, until finally the husband and wife reach out for help. The information they glean from a UFO expert is anything but comforting: the aliens are preparing to take at least one member of the family, likely forever. 

The acting is superb, especially from Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton. He plays an out-of-work architect who is losing his confidence in the ability to provide for his family, while Russell's character scrambles to help make ends meet by attempting to sell homes. The financial and emotion pressure of the situation is further compounded by the weird events, but eventually they realize that their only shot is to unite as a couple and a family. Their oldest son is going through a rebellion as well, further complicating things. I found the family to be quite believable. 

J.K. Simmons does an excellent job playing the UFO expert. The only bad thing is he's grossly underutilized in the film, which is a horrible mistake. 

While the movie's premise is interesting, the actual execution feels half-baked at times. The ending is disturbing, especially for anyone who's a parent or has strong parental instincts, but opportunities to explore some deep topics about UFOs and extraterrestrials are squandered. Even the tension loses momentum at moments. Still, for a "free" movie on Netflix, it was sufficiently entertaining. 

My advice is to see the movie, if you can deal with an ending that isn't really very happy. Just remember you're not in for Close Encounters of the Third Kind or anything like that. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Better than I thought but still not a really good film. Downer ending and yeah, it lost steam several times.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I don't know if I should add it to my line up or not. Not a huge fan of bad endings!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Okay, next time I'm home alone (because no one in my family would watch this with me) and I need a break from my WIP (because deadlines or not, I need breaks), I'll be looking for this one!

VR Barkowski said...

I'm intrigued enough I'll take a look. The premise certainly sounds interesting, and the cast is excellent. I'm even okay with a downer ending if it's organic to the story. That I won't know that until I watch.

VR Barkowski

dolorah said...

I like "satisfactory" endings, which doesn't mean happy. As long as everything is wrapped up tidily and fits the plot. I liked the ending for Purge.