Keri Russell in Dark Skies (2013)

Another Close Encounter

The Barrett family are going through a tough time at the moment; Daniel (Josh Hamilton) has lost his job and struggling to get another whilst his wife Lacy (Keri Russell), a realtor, is suffering restless nights which are creating tension between them. Add to that Lacy's concern for their youngest son Sam (Kadan Rockett) and Daniel taking things out on their other son Jesse (Dakota Goyo) as he hangs out with an older friend. But domestic stress is nothing compared to the weird things which start going on from birds en mass flying in to the side of their house to Lacy coming down stairs to find pictures removed from frames and food being balanced on top of each other. As the Barrett's try and make sense of what may be tormenting them they find themselves the focus of speculation from their neighbours.

So here we go again is the thought which ran through my head as I started watching "Dark Skies" as everything about it seemed to scream another paranormal activity/ creepy house movie. Now let me tell you the good news as whilst the build up follows the same sort of events you would see in one of these paranormal activity movies it has a different power at force which thankfully gives it a different angle as each one of the Barretts suffer in different ways thanks to what ever it is which is taking hold of their home; Daniel finds he has strange skin lesions whilst Sam starts sleep walking and so on.

Josh Hamilton in Dark Skies (2013)

The trouble with "Dark Skies" is firstly director Scott Stewart uses a visual style which is too reminiscent of other creepy house movies with a frequently grey looking palette. Maybe the intention was to lull the audience into thinking it was going to be just another paranormal activity movie but it becomes boring and boring makes you switch off from paying close attention which is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. But on the subject of boring the slowness of it all during the build up is painful, so painful that combined with the visual style it becomes one of those movies which you really have to endure to get to the good stuff.

And that is the thing as after what seems like an eternity "Dark Skies" does come good as things are made clear and we realised we are not dealing with just another supernatural movie. It is once it comes good that the acting starts to pick up with the curiousness of the situation and the hold on the characters becomes visible whilst the special effects also start to kick in

What this all boils down to is that once it gets going "Dark Skies" is good but you have to endure a slow, typical build up to get to where it gets good and to do so takes a surprising amount of effort.