February 6, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 38°F


Review: Horror film offers authentically scary experience

Director Scott Stewart creates genuine fear in audiences with his sci-fi horror, “Dark Skies.” The setting is peaceful suburbia and white picket fences with backyards for all the children to play in, until the intrusion of the Grays, who flip the Barrett’s family life upside down.

It all starts when three flocks of birds from three different migrations come crashing into the Barrett home. Then, after a security breach by something the 7-year-old Sam Barrett (Kadan Rockett) calls “The Sandman,” the family has to figure out how to take back control of its residence.

The threat of danger to the children helped build the suspense of the film. Sam and preteen brother Jesse (Dakota Goyo) are used to make the film more emotional. Their parents, Lacy (Keri Russell) and Daniel (Josh Hamilton), will do anything to protect their family but are labeled as unfit after both of their children are found with bizarre patterns and bruises all over their bodies from the the Grays.

The well-written script is enough to make the film both dramatic and unnerving without relying on too many visual graphics. It was not the special effects that made the Grays frightening, it was their actions directed by the script.

The Grays add drama to the film by indirectly tearing apart the married couple who begin to lose hope in each other because of the fear of the unknown. They then realize what they’re against after meeting with supernatural expert Edwin Pollard (J.K. Simmons), an eccentric old man who has dedicated his life to taking out the Grays. He reveals the severity of the situation after he insinuates that the Grays are behind thousands of unexplained missing children reports.

This film is a rare find in the sea of the horror film genre. The movie is original enough to leave fear in audiences even after they leave the theater and has potential scare with an open ending for a possible sequel.

4 stars

‘Dark Skies’ stands out as an original sci-fi horror film with a strong cast and plot.