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Dark Skies (2013)



As the Barrett family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them, one which may have arrived from beyond the stars.

Review

Completing a trifecta of Legion, Priest, and then this, Director Scott Stewart (who hasn't directed a feature since, shame), shows he is a master of horror as well as action. While both Priest and Legion have their moments, they really hang on action more than straight horror. Dark Skies is a step into slow burn horror. And for a director of action, the pacing is fantastic. In truth little happens in the first hour, and the film is more the better for it. It's good stuff.

I have to admit, the trailer didn't sell me, and I wasn't expecting much. But this is well worth seeing.

While well written and directed, there is no blood and gore. This is a horror movie that relies on story telling and emotion - and it is frightening. Without drawing on jump scares, the sheer tensions and build of horror makes it a proper scary film.

With the premise hinging on the family being in danger from a malevolent external force it puts the feels on you. Mostly due to more than competent writing from Stewart, and some damn fine performances. Carried largely by Keri Russell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), with heavy support from Josh Hamilton (American Horror Story) as the desperate parents - and rock solid support from Dakota Goyo (Real Steel) and Kadan Rockett (Camouflage) as their children - you really feel like one of the family. Which is where the real fear is. It's the family and the threat.

The film plays like an extended home invasion movie - but one where you know that locking the doors won't help.

With a shock twist ending - the film wraps up well, and leaves you satisfied. There really is little more that you can ask for. It's more Close Encounters than The Strangers, and for someone looking for a scary - but goreless - sci fi horror, I highly recommend it.


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