I’m not a fan of alien films, nor have I ever been. In fact, I find them all to be quite ridiculous. There’s just something about slimy reptilian creatures who suck the souls out of humans that doesn’t wash with me. Similarly, I find the concept of these green men probing some innocent victim up the anus with a cold and metal prod to be a joke. So when I came across “Dark Skies”, I was quite reluctant to watch it.
Initially I was drawn in by the advertising poster as it looked like a horror film. When I read the description, where the words “unidentified forces” featured, I was 99% out of the door. However, upon reading fan reviews that praised the movie, I decided to chance it. Now I’m not one for succumbing to peer pressure, nor do I go along with the usual flock of sheep, however I think it’s very necessary when films are involved. I just wish I’d carried out this research when watching The Mothman Prophecies, Evolution, The Day After Tomorrow, Hellraiser, The Box, The Human Centipede, Black Sheep, The Descent, Wrong Turn, Cabin Fever, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Paranormal Activity (2 & 3 too!), When A Stranger Calls, Feat Dot Com, The Rite… Okay so as I’m writing down the movies that were a TOTAL waste of my time, I’d say the ones I’ve listed represent about 5%. Let’s say that each movie lasts an hour and a half. For my current list, that’s a WHOLE DAY of my life I have wasted. Now, taking into account all of the films which have been a complete waste of my time, I have donated 480 HOURS. THAT’S 20 DAYS. Oh my good god. I could have gone on holiday! Lesson: do very good research about a film before you watch it.
The film began very well, to my surprise. As in most horror films that involve ghosts or aliens, we are presented with a family who begin to experience strange things. The initial “contact” between this unidentified force, as we are led to believe, involves the youngest child of two. He begins to have dreams and talks of “the Sandman”. When his Mum urges his Dad to take the little boy seriously, after a few incidents which I won’t spoil for you occur, I didn’t really expect anything less when he didn’t listen. That’s always the case in these kinds of films. Even when she experiences things herself, nope. Even when HE is the victim of unexplained nosebleeds and a ringing sensation in his ears, he STILL thinks she is overreacting. Note to humanity: when a young child or mother tells you they have seen something which is paranormal, believe them! As a woman, she’s very good at researching on the internet. From stalking people on her husband’s Facebook page to doing a bit of internet shopping, she has cyber skills. Obviously I’m joking but you believed me for a bit, didn’t you? Maybe that would have been a good twist; a bit of a ‘What Lies Beneath’ “crazy wife” vibe to further the husband’s reluctance to believe, which would have ultimately led to the inevitable fate of this poor family. As it happens, the Mum is very sane and so they seek out help after finding alien abduction stories on the internet.
After meeting an expert in the field, he warns them that the first person to make contact with the unidentified beings is at risk of being taken. With time running out and aliens in the house, the youngest child appears to be at the most risk. However, is everything what it seems? I’m not going to spoil it for you because I really enjoyed how the film played out. What I will say is, this family is not one for giving up. They employ every tactic possible to protect themselves. It’s just a question of whether it will be enough.
In any horror film or alien flick, I’m usually opposed to showing the viewer the object of terror. In this film, we’re shown the aliens. I actually think it’s done very well and it adds to the whole atmosphere. For us to see in plain sight, yet not showing too much of them, we’re able to identify with the family and share their journey. It goes to illustrate that just because you can see something, it doesn’t mean it’s any less scary. In this case, seeing these aliens and what they are capable of, it’s completely terrifying.
I recommend that you watch this movie. If you don’t already question the likelihood of other life forms existing in some undiscovered area of the universe, you definitely will after sitting through ‘Dark Skies’. Similarly, the next time you have a nosebleed or experience that ringing sensation in your ears, without any explanation, you’ll think back to this film and ponder the possibility of being visited by forces that are beyond human comprehension and life as we know it.