Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dark Skies (2013)

Number Rolled: 27
Movie Name/Year: Dark Skies (2013)
Tagline: They’re coming.
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Alliance Films, Automatik Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions, Cinema Vehicle Services
Producer: Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill, Bailey Conway, Phillip Dawe, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Jessica Malanaphy, Jeff Okin, Rick Osako, Matthew Parker, Scott Stewart, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Scott Stewart
Writer: Scott Stewart
Actors: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett, J.K. Simmons, L.J. Benet, Rich Hutchman, Myndy Crist, Annie Thurman, Jake Brennan, Ron Ostrow, Tom Costello, Marion Kerr, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Josh Stamberg, Judith Moreland, Kenneth Meseroll, Trever St. John, Andy Umberger, Michael Patrick McGill,

Blurb from Netflix: A couple has trouble convincing friends and neighbors that an alien is entering their house each night to terrorize their children.

Selina’s Point of View:
Who writes these Netflix blurbs? This is another great example of a bad blurb by Netflix. The only part of it that’s really true is “an alien is entering their house each night.” Does someone over there just watch the trailer and guess what the movie is about? If so, they should probably stop that. Trailers aren’t always as true to their movies as they should be.

Moving on.

This movie was interchangeable with every other alien-based movie in existence. In two months, if someone describes the film looking for a title, I’ll wind up going through 15 titles before I guess the correct one.

The only impression Dark Skies left on me is that producers need to find something new to do with aliens. Sometimes recipe films can be as comforting as chicken soup, but not when there’s nothing at all to elevate them to a level where you can tell them apart from the other recipe films they follow.

It wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t good either. It just was.


Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve actually seen this movie before, more than once. I really enjoy the film – though, that’s not why I’ve seen it the handful of times that I have. It’s been making its rounds through cable movie channels for a while now, and so I’ve just caught it here and there. I gave it another go for fresh perspective for the purposes of this review, and I didn’t mind.

It was just as eerie and suspenseful – partially thanks to the brilliant sound & music team. The background score sets the tone for the scenes so well that nothing inherently special could be going on and the suspense and sense of unease would still be building because the music or ambient sounds was taking you there.

Keri Russell (August Rush, Austenland, The Americans) had a stand-out performance in this role. It was very easy to emotionally connect with her. Of course, Josh Hamilton (J Edgar, The Wait, Experimenter) did a great job with his role as well. I wasn’t really connecting as well with the youngest child; though. I did enjoy the older boy’s performance by Dakota Goyo (Arthur, Real Steel, Rise of the Guardians). He captured the awkwardness of his character excellently.

The basic day-to-day struggles of this particular family are relevant and relatable. It gives a good grounding foundation before anything out of the ordinary is layered on top of their situation.

I am torn on how I feel about some of the special effects. On one hand, I appreciate that having appearances be a bit more nebulous allows the production to bypass the risk of things looking fake or hokey in this digital HD age. On the other hand, it leaves you wanting more and possibly takes away from the believability for some scenes.

I would definitely recommend the movie, and I’ll likely find myself watching it again in the future when it comes back around on cable.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 40%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 49%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:

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