Valdosta Daily Times


March 12, 2013

‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ grows on you


VALDOSTA — “Dark Skies” (Horror/Science-Fiction: 1 hour, 37 minutes)

Starring: Keri Russell, Jake Brennan, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett and J.K. Simmons

Director: Scott Stewart

Rated: PG-13 (Thematic elements, sexuality, sexual innuendo and strong language)

Movie Review: Lacy (Russell), Daniel (Hamilton), Jesse (Goyo) and Sam (Rockett) are The Barretts, a suburban family. Their lives become a nightmare after a series of disturbingly strange events happen to each of them. Edwin Pollard (Simmons), an expert on the phenomenon, enlightens The Barretts. He tells them they are being visited by beings not from Earth.

“Dark Skies” nicely makes extraterrestrials the new bogeyman. Supposedly, many people have an illogical fear that aliens are out to get them. This has spun a new form of fear to exploit for cinema.

Chances are sentient beings exist somewhere in galaxy who are as intelligent as humans. Are they on Earth? They could be. However, if they could make here, crossing vast light years of space, they are probably more intelligent than humans.

However, aliens coming to Earth just abduct humans for the last 100 years is about like driving to from Valdosta to Tallahassee to go Taco Bell.

“Dark Skies” makes itself a horror with plenty of thrills. In this sense, it is very entertaining. It is creepy by playing on one’s own fears.

The problem is that aliens are not necessarily scary when compared to humans, but this horror/sci-fi piece does manage to generate some gratifying moments. It is riveting if nothing else.

Another flaw is that this film is quick ride. Viewers may not be ready to get off once the ride is over. While noted as a flaw, this is also what makes the film interesting. You want to observe more, so some of the audience may feel 20 minutes more is needed. Some moments move too quickly and needed more explanation.

Instead, this film’s ending leads to more questions than answers. Those answers are wanted. This is the smartness and weakness of “Dark Skies.”

It presents an intriguing plot that avoids the pitfalls executed by many horror genre films. This is its brilliance, yet it irritates as much as it entertains by not supplying more substance.            

Grade: B- (Iffy, but very engaging.)


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