When Signs (2002) came out nearly a dozen years ago, it really wasn't scary at all. UNTIL that alien walked by on the video of that kid's birthday party. You know the scene I mean! That scared the piss out of me for a split second. But then I just had to rewind it and watch it again. Did I just see what I thought I saw? Uh, yeah I did.
But here in Dark Skies, we are dealing with grey men, and they aren't so little! Quite tall in fact, and more ominous as you would expect. Writer/director Scott Stewart (Legion, 2010, and the equally appalling Priest, 2011) takes a time-worn theory and loads of clichéd tidbits from the vast sea of past sci-fi films and television shows to reel us in yet again with a story about a subtle alien invasion.
But to quote the great J. K. Simmons (who plays a knowledgeable conspiracy theorist and expert on all things alien): "They're already here". He explains that "they" have been here for quite some time, and that experimentation and abduction have been occurring for years. Which I think is at the heart of everyone's base fear of an invasion.
Besides Sammy's nocturnal oddities, the family starts experiencing strange occurrences. The home's alarm system keeps going off for no reason. One night Lacey wakes up and discovers the refrigerator open with all the food all over the floor. Another night all the food in the cupboards is stacked on top of each other so that the reflection on the ceiling makes a weird, crop-circle type pattern. Yet another night they find all the photos out of the picture frames throughout the house.
At this point, Daniel takes a clue from Paranormal Activity and sets up cameras all over the house, becoming obsessed with watching the screens.
While Dark Skies seems very ordinary and really didn't see much action at the box office, I found it to be a fairly decent film. It moves at a decent pace, kept my attention, and really freaked me out more than once.I actually jumped out of my skin the first time the aliens are shown.
The cast worked well for me, with Josh Hamilton the only member that I was less than happy with - his acting felt a little wooden for me - but the others make up for it.
You can see the struggle of the family dealing with the possible foreclosure of their house and the thought of not being able to provide for his family wears on David - you can see the visible evidence in his eyes. The couple fights like normal couples do, yet pulls together when things really get out of hand - and I'm not talking car payments and piano lessons here. I'm pretty sure aliens put a damper on any kind of future plans.
So I would have to recommend Dark Skies if you're even remotely a sci-fan fan, and especially if you are open-minded...or have video cameras set up anywhere in your house.