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Dark Skies


Close encounters of the suburban kind.

Rod Lott June 1st, 2013

Thanks to examples like The Others and Sinister, moviegoers know that whenever a kids' crayon drawing pops up, it's never a good sign for the protagonists. Add Dark Skies to that list.

darkskies

The first sci-fi-heavy effort from Blumhouse Productions, that mighty machine of menace that brought you the Paranormal Activity pictures, the film focuses on the Barrett family. Lacy (Keri Russell, TV's The Americans) is a Realtor; Daniel (Josh Hamilton, J. Edgar) is an architect, but currently unemployed in the midst of the Great Recession. Because of this, the couple is underwater on its mortgage.

In other words, more stress is the least thing the Barretts need, but it arrives when their youngest child (newcomer Kadan Rockett) reports seeing "the Sandman" in his room at night. That could explain the inexplicable nocturnal events that take place under their roof, from a geometric structure built in the kitchen to all the family photos vanishing from their frames.

Writer/director Scott Stewart (Priest, Legion) finally breaks free of angels and Paul Bettany to deliver an imminently watchable tale that, while predictable, proves creepy. If it never quite steps into scare territory, it manages to yield a couple of solid jolts, and rather swiftly.

Plus, it's always nice to see the unconventional Russell land a lead. Bonus: J.K. Simmons (Up in the Air) has a small role as an amateur researcher who dresses like Hunter S. Thompson. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Legion film review    
Sinister Blu-ray review   



 
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