In the same vein as almost every other horror movie out there, Dark Skies sets up a chilling story of aliens and abduction, a sense of helplessness that makes the movie work. The characters are somewhat wooden at times, they all fall into familiar tropes. In almost every horror movie, the father is a disbeliever who turns when he finally begins to see that something is amiss. The youngest son has an imaginary friend, the older son trying to be strong and be himself all at once. Kerri Russell leads the haphazard cast through a somewhat dizzying story, bringing the family heart that didn’t seem apparent.
The story wasn’t surprising, the twist I predicted only a few scenes before the ending. What makes horror movies so compelling, to me, is whether they can pull you out of your comfort zone, give you something to believe, no matter how unbelievable. The idea of the movie revolves around alien abduction, something clear from the very first trailer. I’ve long held a great fear of aliens, mostly due to the unknown about them, whether or not we, as humans, are alone. The idea is terrifying and this movie plays well to that. However, if you don’t find that fear holding any sway over you, this might be an absolute pass.