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February 24, 2013 | 12:52 p.m. CST
The skies are a little dark but mostly dull.
Dark Skies is a supernatural horror film that will leave fans of the genre disappointed.
Lacy and Daniel Barrett’s (Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton) suburban life with their two sons is turned upside down by terrifying and unexplainable events. It is revealed, perhaps too soon, that an unidentified being is after them. The film explores the family’s search for answers.
Because the plot is eerily familiar, the film needed to have the element of surprise. Instead, too many moments feel overdone and tired. From birds hitting a window to the Barretts’ younger son’s strange drawings, there are few legitimately scary moments. Even the climax is somewhat unsatisfying — kind of like Russell’s post-Felicity career.
The film also suffers from a general lack of purpose. Directed and written by Scott Stewart (Priest, Legion), the movie has tense build-ups and campy laughter in equal parts. Stewart can’t seem to decide what kind of horror film he is making. That being said, the look and pacing is well done.
The one highlight of Dark Skies is the performances. Russell and Hamilton are both convincing and effective in their roles, as are their two on-screen sons played by Dakota Goyo and Kadan Rockett. J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, The Closer) is a solid supporting actor and helps give the film some last-minute weight.
Still, adept acting is not enough to save Dark Skies. Mrs. Barrett poses the question, “What makes us so special?” and we’re left wondering the same about the movie as a whole.