Dark Skies (2013)

Lacy Barrett: "Sammie, did you have that dream again? about the sandman?"
By Scott Stewart
With Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton and J.K. Simmons

There wasn't any particular reason as to how I came across Dark Skies, it was mostly because it came out and it seemed like I could enjoy it. The title was great, the cover as well and it seemed to be along the lines of those new horror-in-the-house/kid-sees-supernatural-stuff movies.

Dark Skies is about the Barrett family who seemingly live a happy life in their suburban house. Things quickly turn sour as their house is broken into night after night, without anything being stolen. Yet, unsettling events do happen. The police can't seem to help them, neither does the house alarm that they use. Young Sam experiences the first encounters with what he calls "sandmen" but quickly the whole family seems to act strangely, which shatters the very core of their sanity, instilling doubt on each other's role in the events.

I was at times pleasantly surprised and disappointed with Dark Skies. One thing that pleased me is that it ends up being more scary than I was expecting. The great use of distorted bass sounds helps a lot and the house gets creepier at night with it. There are a few turns of events that I didn't exactly comprehend and which seemed a little too convenient to me, without having proper justification to them in the actual story line.

Mostly, the strength of the movie resides in clever filming. I quite liked most of the shots. The acting was okay, with the exception of J.K. Simmons who always gives out great performance no matter how much screen time he has. The movie ends up genre-hopping randomly, which could thrill some but might alienate pure horror fans or pure sci-fi fans.

I liked: Some good creepy scenes. Finds a good spot in the haunted house, weird events movies.

I disliked: Not always coherent. Potential loopholes. Well filmed, but confusing dreamlike sequences.

A decent creepy flick, should not remain memorable for long but can give some unexpected jumps.


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