The Barrett family are in a period of upheaval, finances are in a poor state, employment opportunities grim, but on the plus side after years of illness son Jesse (Dakota Goyo) is enjoying the life of a normal teenager. But the situation at home is about to get freaky, things go bump in the night, bottles stack themselves on top of each other, and youngest son Sam (Kadan Rockett) has been suffering from strange trauma. Then in come the birds, hundreds of them all hitting the house and falling dead within seconds of each other and parents Lacy (Keri Russell) and Daniel (Josh Hamilton) release that things will never be the same again.
Dark Skies is like a collision of Close Encounters and Insidious, part horror, part science fiction, it’s the most compelling movie of its type for some considerable time. Like many Hollywood horror’s it does have a certain “same” feeling about it, that same generic family in turmoil feel about it, Dark Skies however manages to pull itself out of this league, certainly for the final moments.
There is a certain retro feel about what happens in the movie, the locations the film is shot in have a certain classic feel about them, and for the most part technology is put on the down low.
While Dark Skies does well to elevate itself out of a generic mire, the characters do feel rather one dimensional, the escalation of events picks up rather too quickly after a slow start, and the dreamlife/reality moments does get a little monotonous. Performances of the adults are almost rubbery compared to those of the child performers. But even the child scenes are bogged down with unexplored dimensions.
Dark Skies ultimate strength comes in its final twenty minutes, and for many the end result will not be expected. This is a one-time visit for the large majority of people that will see it; it will not go setting anyone’s world on fire, but even those it annoys will bow before it’s epic finale.
Dark Skies is in UK cinemas now.