Directed by Scott Stewart [Other horror films: Legion (2010), Priest (2011), Holidays (2016, segment ‘Christmas’)]
I knew next to nothing about Dark Skies before starting it, and that probably worked in it’s benefit. For much of the film, it’s a slow-burn, and though I saw the ending coming a mile away, I do like the way this movie approached the finale.
The main family cast were all decent. Josh Hamiliton (who I swear I must recognize from a miniseries he was in called The ‘60’s) was my favorite, but Keri Russell (who played his wife) was great too. The two kids, Dakata Goyo and Kadan Rockett, were as okay as young actors are, and though neither were great, I had no issues with them.
It’s the story more than the performances that’s of interest here, what with a lot of mysterious things going on around the house and no one in the family has any idea what’s going on, giving the movie a very Poltergeist-like feel (including a similar kitchen scene, now that I mention it). It’s a slow-burn, yes, but it’s interesting in the moment and worth the wait, so everything worked out well.
Dark Skies is a movie that I think works best without preconceptions. I knew one thing about this movie going in, and that shaped a lot of the thoughts I had about how the film would progress, but I was entirely wrong (which was amusingly somewhat lampshaded by J.K. Simmons’ character in the movie). Once I knew where this was going, I was both surprised and impressed, which pretty much covers my feelings on this one. Certainly a movie worth checking out if you’ve passed over it in the past.