When first viewing the trailer for “Dark Skies,” I was immediately excited to see it. It appeared to be another supernatural horror film concerning a creepy little kid. You can never go wrong using that concept. My interest waned a bit upon learning the movie revolved around an alien encounter. I don’t dislike movies about aliens, but they just don’t excite me as much as a good ghost story or haunted house flick.
I still held on to hope as I put “Dark Skies” in my Blu-ray player and settled in to watch it. I can happily report that my hopes weren’t dashed. The commercials and trailers for the film captured its essence perfectly.
Daniel (Josh Hamilton) and Lacey Barret (Keri Russell) and their two children are just like any ordinary family struggling to make ends meet and pay the mortgage on their suburban two-story house. That is until a seemingly invisible visitor begins invading their home. Things get more serious when the sinister activities begin to focus on their youngest son (Kadan Rockett).
Director Scott Stewart knew exactly what to do to make “Dark Skies” work. He took typical alien abduction films like “Fire in the Sky” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and injected them with all the positive aspects of newer horror films like “Insidious,” “Paranormal Activity,” and “Sinister.” He tossed in some classic supernatural flavor via “Poltergeist” for good measure. The recipe works to the extent that I actually jumped at one point so hard I moved the area rug out from underneath me in my living room.
The entire cast of “Dark Skies” fully embraces their roles. Each one gives you something emotional to grab on to. This awards the viewer attachments to each of them that carry you through the movie and invest in the journeys they take as characters.
“Dark Skies” looks and sounds great thanks to a favorable high definition transfer. The picture is clean and the darkness of the color palette guarantees a creepy mood and great jump scares. There are tons of little sounds and special effects to take in through the 5.1 surround mix.
Special features included on the Blu-ray version of “Dark Skies” are the usual. There are alternate and deleted scenes which contain a different ending. Audio commentary is provided by Writer / Director Scott Stewart, Producer Jason Blum, Executive Producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, and Editor Peter Gvozdas.
“Dark Skies” will appeal to both horror and sci-fi fans looking for some new thrills and chills. I give props to Director / Writer Scott Stewart for finding a successful way to marry together alien abduction films with the new style of supernatural horror films coming out these days. It’s much more exciting than having to sit through another “Paranormal Activity” film.
“Dark Skies” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Blu-ray Review: “The Burning: Collector’s Edition”
“Mama” Blu-ray Review
“State of Emergency” DVD Review