Wednesday, February 27, 2013

REVIEW: Dark Skies

Dark Skies

Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton


February 22, 2013

Scott Stewart

Dimension Films (TWC)

1 hour 37 minutes



It seemed like the worst had come when the first trailer for the latest Sci-Fi Horror film 'Dark Skies' came onto the scene and made people all over the country laugh their butts off. I was one of those people, so honestly I expected nothing out of this film other than to laugh at the sheer stupidity that this trailer brought. This is a prime example on how marketing for a movie can actually hide the true quality of a movie. Sure, this movie is heavily flawed in regards to the script and acting, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't interested and entertained throughout the 95-minute duration. 'Dark Skies,' as unintentionally hilarious and stupid it can be, is a satisfying sic-fi horror that delivers on mild scares and even some interesting ideas.

The Barrett family lives a seemingly normal life on the outside, but on the inside of their house is a lot of personal issues. Daniel and Lacey are struggling parents who are trying to maintain good jobs while supporting their two sons at the same time. Mysterious things start brewing in their house, starting with their youngest son Sammy saying that "the sandman" came into his room and started talking to him, while doing strange things around the house. As things get stranger and more disturbing, the Barrett’s soon find out that whatever is causing these weird things aren't from this planet. Plus, these extraterrestrial beings have been planning to commence with these paranormal occurrences for quite some time, watching the family's every move waiting for the right moment to strike.

The acting in the film is good with some actors, while others, well, weren't very good. Keri Russell did a fine job as Lacey. Her performance wasn't anything groundbreaking or anything like that, but it was without a doubt far from a terrible performance. The Same goes for Josh Hamilton, who was also decent in the film. Dakota Goyo from 'Real Steel' gave a solid performance as well. Even J.K. Simmons did well in the 20 minutes he was in the movie. As for the rest of the cast, especially the youngest kid of the Barrett family and a friend of Goyo's character, the performances were mediocre. The young actor's name who played the youngest of the Barrett family, named Sam, is Kadan Rockett. While some child actors shine in their performances, Rockett just gives a bland and boring performance that makes the audience cringe for all of the wrong reasons. Frankly he is a kid, so he shouldn't be blamed so much since the directing was subpar. The worst person of the cast by far is this one teen who play's a friend of Dakota Goyo's character, mainly because he acts like he's from the ghetto and says the most absurd lines out there. Again, this is probably because of the directing and not of the actor, unless he is in a lot of bad movies.

Director and writer Scott Stewart previous helmed the films 'Legion' and 'Priest,' which are both critically panned. I personally have never seen those films, so I wouldn't know myself if they're good. From what was here though, I can honestly say that he did an ok job as the director. As for his script, it was all over the place in terms of quality. Some parts it actually had some interesting concepts thrown in there. In other parts, the focus was primarily on really stupid things like romance, first kisses, and porn. In fact, porn plays a somewhat key factor into the end of the film, which was executed cleverly, but was overall used poorly. The directing was too all over the place, in which some acting was planned poorly and the jump scares weren't even that creepy. I saw some potential in Stewart, but not a lot in all honesty.

Overall, 'Dark Skies' is a forgettable but intriguing sic-fi/horror film that doesn't have a lot of scares, but it does possess some fascinating ideas that really haven't been explored in the alien genre yet, plus it has some solid acting from Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, J.K. Simmons, and Dakota Goyo. This isn't as horrendous as the trailers made it out to be, despite having some of the funniest unintentional moments of 2013 so far. However it isn't as great as its ideas about aliens and possessing are. If one goes in expecting to loathe this movie with a fiery passion, then chances are they will. However if one goes in with an open mind, not expecting a lot out of it, then they might have a decent time. In fact, this is a great movie to see with a bunch of friends for the sake of making fun of the movie when it gets stupid and unintentionally hilarious. However when it does present it's extraterrestrial invasion ideas in the second half, eyes might be glued to the screen and one might be invested in what's going on. 'Dark Skies' is by far a great horror movie, but it is somewhat entertaining to say the least, and it's a fun enough movie to see with a bunch of friends.


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