The Movie: 7/10
Dark Skies, why is it called Dark Skies? You’ll have to watch it to find out. What I can tell you is that this movie had enough of a jolt to be interesting after a long dry spell of creepy/scary movies. I don’t want to oversell it, so keep in mind that I will relay several flaws, but tempered with the fact that I did enjoy it.
The first thing that’s obvious about the movie is that it takes its time to tell us the story, which is the best part of the whole thing. I did have moments of “can we get on with this” but that was only because of a character I didn’t like, which is the biggest problem I have with Dark Skies. The family does seem like a real family, sort of, maybe. The mother is convincing to a point. I don’t feel much true affection from either parent. This doesn’t mean that I think all parents are affectionate or have some romanticized idea of what families are….no no. It’s just that there is a disconnect somewhere along the line. Then, along the same line something clicks and I get glimpses of what I want from this family, some kind of actual connection. My husband says they seem like a real family to him, so there ya go, we all have our point of view. I’m just sure he doesn’t know yet that I’m correct on this one.
The father is the most troublesome part of the movie for me. He’s just not convincing me that he gives a shit about his family, not at all. It really throws me off. The kids are the best part of the whole thing for me. The teenager is my favorite part of the whole thing, well, except for a few genuine startles here and there. He does an exacting job of being a teenager with issues, but not overdoing it. I like the subtleties of his performance. I might be reading too much into it, but he was the best part of it. The young boy does a fine job too, if not a bit “kid movieish”. He does the cutesy scary thing a tiny bit too much.
The special effects are pretty good, not amazing, but the best thing is that they don’t overdo it. There are hints of creatures now and then, and when the time comes to see what we need to see, it’s not too bold or Hollywood laced.
I like the story of a family struggling, but it’s almost too common at this point of storytelling, but it is what it is. Mixing the fact that they might be being visited by something unworldly with their money troubles is fine, and it makes sense. I just felt like I didn’t give a shit about their money problems, so there is the glitch in that system. It goes back to not liking the father/husband character. He was out of work, struggling with bills, but I couldn’t have cared less if you paid me to. So, that in concert with their now pending invasion or other weirdness lessened the impact a little bit. I wanted to like it more, therefore I mind-over-mattered it and did end up like it more than I would have if I let the weaknesses get to me.
I definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of alien conspiracy theories. It’s pretty much tailored for that group. If you just want something a little bit unsettling and some good quality moments of tension, go for it.
- Alternate & Deleted Scenes – A few deleted scenes and an alternate ending. The alternate ending is worse than the one in the film. You can also turn on commentary during these scenes.
- Commentary With Director/Writer, Producer, & Editor – A pretty informative banter between most of the key technical players in the movie. Fun fact Dark Skies was originally going to be a found footage movie.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
I don’t mind this cover…but that’s not a screaming compliment. It’s representative of an aspect of the movie, but doesn’t quite capture the overall vibe. I would not have this as a poster, it’s just not very exciting. The menu, not much to talk about.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Dark skies looks fantastic in Hi Definition it’s far from the ominous nature the title evokes. Having watched quite a few movies on Blu-Ray recently with crushed black levels it was a joy to see this movie which is mostly presented at night with superb shadow detail and great color balance. The movie was shot digitally so it does look like a TV show in some of the daytime scenes, but when the Dark Skies roll in it mostly looks fantastic.
The well balanced DTS-HD Master audio track is also something to behold. Dark Skies relies on sound for the majority of it’s scary moments. The standout is a shrill house alarm that will literally wake the neighborhood if your playing it loud. There are some great pans around the rear speakers when things get super scary.
Dark Skies looks and sounds great on Blu-Ray shame the film couldn’t continue the awesomeness.
Dark Skies is a reasonable creepy flick to enjoy on a Friday night, along with some classics. It’s worth the rental price, but I wouldn’t pay the 20 bucks to own it.
Overall Score 6.5/10