As most sci-fi stories go, we are not alone. They are watching us, studying our ways and picking at random those to abduct as lab rats. Sound familiar? How about strange geometrical signs, birds freaking out, sleep walking, inexplicable scars that resemble branding, involuntary acts of madness, child drawings of tall grey skinny figures with big heads… yes, by now you have thought of a whole list of films exactly like this… and here is another.
Dark Skies revolves around the Barrett family, a not so happy clappy household. Due to the financial strain, caused by Daniel (Josh Hamilton) losing his job, placing all responsibility on his real-estate agent wife Lucy (Keri Russell), the Barrett’s family life is turned upside down. This later becomes a plausible explanation for rather weird incidences. The first being an apparent break in prank where someone built a large contraption with kitchen items to reflect a geometric print on the ceiling. The second is the removing of every photo in the house. With no sign of intrusion, the police imply that it had to be one of their sons acting out due to unhappy household matters.
As a precaution Daniel has the alarm system reactivated, but after it apparently malfunctions, they become increasingly concerned. Their youngest son Sammy (Kadan Rockett) says it’s the Sandman, a character in the scary stories his older brother Jesse (Dakota Goyo) reads him before bedtime. At first his parents dismiss this as fantasy, a child’s way of coping with strange incidents. When more incidents occur, his parents give it a second think, especially after Lucy swears she saw a figure standing over Sammy. Meanwhile the rest of the family experience time-loss and weird behaviour. Soon after the Barrett’s are rejected by friends and neighbours, who think they are abusing their sons. Installing cameras in the house, Daniel attempts to stay awake all night to catch ‘Sandman’, whose been visiting Sammy every night, and prove to the police that there is a intruder.
It just isn’t original. The story line has been redone to exhaustion, turning what is suppose to be a horror into a bore. All the cliche horror devises are used. The film opens with a well known Arthur C. Clarke quote: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” That is perhaps the most terrifying and thought provoking moment in the whole film.