From the producers of Paranormal Activity
, and Sinister
comes Dark Skies
: a supernatural thriller that follows a young family living in the suburbs. As husband and wife Daniel and Lacey Barret witness an escalating series of disturbing events involving their family, their safe and peaceful home quickly unravels. When it becomes clear that the Barret family is being targeted by an unimaginably terrifying and deadly force, Daniel and Lacey take matters in their own hands to solve the mystery of what is after their family.
It is the honest truth that I do not cover very many, if any, horror movies. This is in part thanks to the incredible James Jay Edwards whom I refer to as the "FilmFracture Horror Aficionado." But it is also because I do not care much for modern day horror movies. The remakes of classic horror films aggravates me and the original ideas never appeal to me on any level, usually. Perhaps I have grown out of loving horror movies, and if that is the case it is a sad thing to accept. In order to remember what it is like to watch a horror movie I do go on occasion, and my first of 2013 just happened to be Dark Skies
, from the producers of such recent scare-fests Paranormal Activity
, and Sinister
. I am the first to admit that I was not expecting much--I even warned my movie companion for the screening that the likelihood Dark Skies
was going to be terrible was more than probable. Then we watched it. Dark Skies
is surprisingly a respectable thriller/horror movie, if you prefer the more psychological horror schtick to the blood and violence of say, a slasher picture. I definitely do.
is centered around a suburban family who is facing hard times with a past-due mortgage, out of work father, and struggling real estate agent mother--the house she is currently trying to sell should be put in a 70s retro museum, right down to the green and yellow wallpaper, hideous flower couch, and super shag carpeting. Times are tough for the Barrett family, and they are about to get a lot harder when a "presence" called simply "The Sandman" by the youngest son, Sam (Kadan Rockett), begins making appearances in his dreams and strange occurrences happen around the house. The first of which involves a large amount of food being eaten from the fridge and tossed on the floor--Sandman likes lettuce, but not bacon (the horror!). Things only get more strange, and less explainable. It is not only Sam that is affected; his mother Lacy (Keri Russell), father Daniel (Josh Hamilton), and older brother Jesse (Dakota Goyo) all have their moments of possession, uncontrollable actions, or downright strange behavior. In Jesse's case you can blame it all on his watching of soft-core pornography early on in the film, or because he has been given a perfect head of hair--take your pick. As a viewer you are full of theories from start to finish, and what you think is happening is not what will happen. The twist in Dark Skies
is actually quite great; so is the massive bird attack on the home and the overall unsettling feeling the movie provokes.
If you can recall the feeling of tension, undeniable stress, familial strife mingled with fear, and the overall chilling sensation that occurred while watching Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind
you will have a very good idea of the tone Dark Skies
emits. A great mystery is afoot, and the strange actions by everyone in the family are perplexing. They are also quite funny. Keri Russell banging her head into a glass door repeatedly looks painful, and a tad bit frightening, but its also hilarious. It's not easy to achieve humor in a horror movie without losing the seriousness of the story; Dark Skies
manages to do it, and do it well. The answers are out there, in pure science fiction fashion that includes a brief cameo by solidified character actor J.K. Simmons, brimmed hat and all, as Edwin Pollard. He knows what is happening to the Barrett family, and how they may
be able to stop it--the emphasis being on may as once the horror is upon you from the enemy in Dark Skies
you cannot escape it, but you can try and fight. A shotgun may help, or boarding up the windows, but when something wants in its going to get in, and thats all part of the fun in Dark Skies