The weather around here has been hot with few clouds to be found. Unfortunately for those in other parts of the country, clouds have brought nothing but snow. A better forecast would call for it to be cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Right now it looks like nothing but "Dark Skies."
Lacy (Keri Russell), and Daniel (Josh Hamilton) are feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Lacy is a struggling realtor, and Daniel is desperately looking for a job as the bills begin to pile up. The stress of the situation seems to be affecting their two young boys, Jesse (Dakota Goyo) and his little brother Sam (Kadan Rockett). However, it isn't the stress that is bothering the boys, it's the unexpected visitors.
So there are a few dark clouds hanging over this movie. The biggest cloud is the slow pace. It takes too long getting to the point, and there are a few repetitive scenes. Yes, some of those scenes are setting things up, but it never picks up the pace. An example of the repetitiveness is how they show each family member left frozen with their mouth wide open in their own scene. Creepy the first time, maybe second, but not everyone has to do it.
Another dark cloud over the movie is that it will remind the audience of other movies, the first being the Paranormal Activity franchise. After some strange events occur while the family is sleeping, Daniel decides to do what they do in the Paranormal Activity movies… film everything. He has cameras installed around the house, and the audience gets to see several scenes of him watching the videos. It becomes frustrating watching him watch the video as he takes forever to notice a big clue in the footage.
The other movie is “Signs.” There is that similar family dynamic with everyone having to work through some individual issues, and issues as a family. Then there is an especially similar scene of the family preparing to have one good meal while waiting for the aliens to make their move. Of course the storyline is nowhere near as complex as “Signs.”
However, there is one good similarity to “Signs,” which is the one of the best things about this movie… the aliens. The first appearance of the aliens is one of the scariest moments of the movie. It totally took me off guard, and certainly got the audience’s attention. It would have been nice to see more moments like that, but if they include the aliens too much they lose their creepiness.
As far as the story, there is a twist, but if the audience has ever seen a horror movie before, they will quickly figure it out. They go overboard to drop this clue on the audience over and over again. Something else that doesn’t sit well is how they go out of the way to show how the family has money issues, but whenever they need money, it’s magically there. Daniel is able is reconnect their alarm service, install cameras around the house, and they even have a nice Apple monitor (as the product placement).
I originally thought the movie should have ended right at the ending climax. However, lately too many movies have done that, and left a sour taste in the audience’s mouth. The final scene wraps everything up, and has a clever moment that puts the finishing touch on the movie. It’s the kind of clever thing audiences might have found in say… “Signs.”
The dark clouds over “Dark Skies” prevent the sun from shining down on it. The biggest cloud is the slow pace from beginning to end. It might not bore the audience, but they might wonder why they are seeing so many similar scenes. There is also too many similarities to movies like “Paranormal Activity,” and particularly “Signs.” The few scenes with aliens are easily the best, and will only leave the audience wanting more of them. They don’t do enough to hide the twist, but end the movie with on a clever note. While the audience won’t see many dark clouds during the movie, there are enough dark clouds hanging over it to give it 2 pools of blood.