Movie Dark Skies review
The Barrett family consists of father Daniel (Josh Hamilton), mother Lacy (Keri Russell), oldest son Jesse (Dakota Goyo), and youngest son Sammy (Kadan Rockett). Daniel has been out of work for at least three months, which has put a lot of strain on their marriage. At night Jesse and Sammy communicate with each other from their beds via walkie-talkie. Jesse is reading scary stories about the Sandman, which frightens Sammy, but it distracts him from their parents’ fighting. Very strange things are happening to the family, including partially eaten food all over the kitchen floor, canned and packaged foods stacked up in towers all over the kitchen projecting a strange sign on the ceiling, picture frames empty, alarm system going off for no reason. Lacy questions Sammy if he was the person who stacked the cans up, and he says that the Sandman did it before he came to Sammy’s room. They try to brush it off, but grow increasingly concerned as the incidents become more intense.
As the number of strange events begin to increase in frequency and danger, it starts affecting family members personally. They each go into trances and are unable to account for their time. Hundreds of birds crash into the house, and the investigators discover that the birds are from three different flocks migrating from three different directions; as if something was drawing the birds to their home. Finally one night Lacy is wakened by Sammy talking and witnesses a humanoid figure standing over his bed. Horrified, when she turns on the light, the room is empty, and they find Sammy in the front yard. Immediately after this experience, Daniel installs security cameras around the house.
Lacy begins to search online for answers and finds articles on aliens. She finds pictures other children have drawn that are strikingly similar to ones Sammy has drawn of a child with three tall, grey figures. Daniel dismisses her theory, insisting that there is a more rational explanation. Daniel has a job interview and is offered and accepts the job. Soon, it is noticed that there are bruises and marks on the boys and child protective services is notified. It was also noted that the marks were symbols that were applied with a brand.
One night, Daniel is watching the video cameras, going frame by frame until he sees three dark figures, each standing over the bed of someone in the family. He now believes Lacy’s alien theory, and they seek help from a specialist, Edwin Pollard (J. K. Simmons), who refers to the beings ‘The Grays’. Pollard informs them that many have dealt with the Grays, with most cases ending in an abduction. Pollard has a wall in his apartment covered in newspaper articles about missing children. Pollard warns the Barrett’s that they should be hyper-protective of their Sammy, who appears to have been “chosen” and that the family must unify in order to save their son. This will make the Grays’ activities more difficult and might encourage them to give up and move on.
Daniel buys a shotgun and boards up the windows and doors of the house, and Lacy buys an aggressive guard dog. The family spends 4th July inside their home eating dinner, recounting earlier holidays to lift the boys’ moods. While watching fireworks on the TV, the transmission cuts to static, all the lights begin to flicker and the dog starts barking ferociously at the boarded up front door. Lacy puts Jesse in his room with Sammy and tells him to protect his brother. She stands guard outside the door with a knife in hand.
Downstairs, Daniel has his gun pointed at the front door as bright lights shine around it. The screws holding the boards in place unscrew on their own, and then all the power in the house cuts out. Once the door falls off its hinges, Daniel fires into the bright light, hoping to hit one of the Grays. He then runs upstairs and gets his family into the master bedroom, and they huddle together on the bed. Lacy sees the Grays standing around the bed and screams and Jesse blacks out. In his trance, Jesse sees his brother in the hallway and approaches him. As his family watches in horror, the Grays appear out of nowhere, surround Jesse, there is flash of light, and he is abducted. Pollard is seen in his apartment, resignedly posting a newspaper article about Jesse’s disappearance on his wall along with all the others.
Three months later, Lacy and Daniel are suspects in Jesse’s disappearance and they’ve moved into an apartment where they set up a bedroom for Jesse (Pollard had told the Barretts in their initial consultation that it is not unknown for abducted children to return). As Lacy is going through Jesse’s old things, she finds pictures that Jesse drew as a child, including many drawings of tall grey figures alongside all members of the Barrett family, revealing that Jesse had known about the Grays for some years prior. Suddenly, one of the boys’ walkie-talkies starts sounding intermittently from inside a box of toys. Sammy picks up the walkie-talkie to hear, amongst much white noise and static, Jesse’s distressed voice screaming his brother’s name.
Directed by: Scott Stewart
Produced by: Jason Blum, Couper Samuelson,Jeanette Brill
Screenplay by: Scott Stewart
Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett, J. K. Simmons
Music by: Joseph Bishara
Cinematography: David Boyd
Editing by: Peter Gvodas
Studio: Entertainment One
Distributed by: Dimension Films (U.S) Alliance Films (Canada)
Release date: February 22, 2013 (United States)
Running time: 97 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $3.5 million
Box office: $26,421,74