Dark Skies (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Scott Stewart|
|Produced by||Jason Blum
|Screenplay by||Scott Stewart|
J. K. Simmons
|Music by||Joseph Bishara|
|Edited by||Peter Gvodas|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films (U.S) Alliance Films (Canada)|
|Running time||97 minutes|
Dark Skies is a 2013 American science fiction horror thriller film, written and directed by Scott Stewart and produced by Jason Blum starring Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton and Dakota Goyo. The film was released on February 22, 2013.
The Barrett family consists of father Daniel (Josh Hamilton), mother Lacy (Keri Russell), older son Jesse (Dakota Goyo), and younger 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 reads scary stories about the Sandman to Sammy in order to distract him from their parents' fighting. After Lacy discovers food strewn across the kitchen floor and other goods arranged in a pattern, Sammy tells her that the Sandman did it before he came to Sammy's room. Daniel and Lacy try to brush it off, but grow increasingly concerned as the incidents become more intense.
Soon the family members begin to experience lost time. One night Lacy is wakened by Sammy talking and witnesses a humanoid figure standing over his bed. When she turns on the light, the room is empty, and they find Sammy in the front yard. Daniel installs security cameras around the house. Lacy begins to search online for answers and finds articles on aliens. She learns that other children have drawn pictures 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. While playing with a friend, Jesse has a seizure; at the hospital, the doctors find bizarre marks that appear to have been branded into his body; simultaneously, Sammy's babysitter finds similar marks on him.
That night, Daniel watches the video surveillance 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 informs them that many have dealt with the Greys, aliens that have traveled millions of light years to study and abduct humans. Pollard warns the Barretts that they should be hyper-protective of Sammy, who appears to been "chosen" by the Greys. However, Pollard also indicates that in most cases, after years of surveilling a family, the Greys will finally abduct the first person in the family with whom they had made contact. According to Pollard, in some rare cases, families have been able to successfully fight the Greys and force them to move on.
Lacey and Daniel decide to prevent them from getting Sammy. They board up the house, buy weapons and a dog to keep them out. When night comes, the Greys attack the house and instead of taking Sammy, they take Jesse.
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. As Lacy is going through Jesse's old things, she finds pictures that Jesse had drawn as a child, including drawings (similar to the ones drawn by other abducted children) of himself with three tall grey figures. This reveals that Jesse, not Sammy, had been the first member of the family that the Greys had contacted; he had been their abduction target all along, true to form.
Suddenly, one of the boys' toy walkie-talkies begins to crackle. Sammy picks up the walkie-talkie and hears Jesse call his brother's name.
- Keri Russell as Lacy Barrett
- Josh Hamilton as Daniel Barrett
- Dakota Goyo as Jesse Barrett
- Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett
- J. K. Simmons as Edwin Pollard
- L. J. Benet as Kevin Ratner
- Rich Hutchman as Mike Jessop
- Myndy Crist as Karen Jessop
- Annie Thurman as Shelly Jessop
- Jack Washburn as Bobby Jessop
- Ron Ostrow as Richard Klein
- Brian Stepanek as Security system technician
- Judith Moreland as Janice Rhodes
- Trevor St. John as Alex Holcombe
Production commenced on August 3, 2012. Locations for filming included Los Angeles and Valencia, CA (College of the Canyons). The film was directed by Scott Stewart and produced by Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill and Couper Samuelson. The film's screenplay was written by Stewart; the original script by Stewart took about six weeks to finish writing.
Dark Skies was released in the United States on February 22, 2013, and has been released in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2013. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 28, 2013.
Dark Skies received mixed reviews from film critics. It holds a 38% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 76 reviews, and a 51% rating on Metacritic based on 18 reviews. Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote that "[t]he movie builds a moderate, if less than monumental, level of spookiness, regardless of your ignorance. It’s a workmanlike piece of suspense." He gave the film 2 out of 4 stars. In a moderately favourable review for The New York Times, Andy Webster praised the film for the "consummate dexterity" with which it employed worn-out horror devices.
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- Barton, Steve (February 5, 2013). "You Are Not Welcome to this Dark Skies TV Spot". Dread Central. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- de Semlyen, Phil (February 12, 2013). "Exclusive: New Dark Skies Poster". Empire. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- O'Sullivan, Michael (February 23, 2013). "‘Dark Skies’ movie review". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- Webster, Andy (February 22, 2013). "Terror in the Suburbs (and Job Market)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
- Official website
- Dark Skies at the Internet Movie Database
- Dark Skies at Box Office Mojo
- Dark Skies at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dark Skies at Metacritic