Daniel and Lacey are a seemingly happy couple, who lives in a nice suburban neighborhood with their two young boys. One night Lacy notices strange sounds coming from the kitchen but upon her investigation the family writes the disturbance off as animals rampaging for food. Of course when these types of disturbing events continue to escalate the families peaceful home begins to unravel. With no explanation for these events, the family turns to a conclusion which many would deem crazy - the family is being targeted by extraterrestrials. Scott Stewart's Dark Skies is a decent, albeit bland, horror film that really follows the same formula as films like Insidious and Sinister. The opening sequence of Dark Skies really aims to establish this neighborhood the family lives in as the perfect american suburbs. We see kids playing the streets, fathers playing catch with their sons, among other stereotypical americana in an effort to sell this american dream persona. Soon after though we learn that Daniel and Lacey's family is hurting financially and ultimately struggling too be a copacetic family unit. What begins as a promising allegory about the need for families to love each other and stick together ultimately unfolds because the filmmaker seems to never quite be able to decide if he wants the film to be this smart allegory or just another bland horror film. As the film builds, we are completely reminded of how the family is disjointed because of finances and other issues, which is exactly why the Aliens are targeting them. J.K. Simmons' character, who plays the stereotypical source of knowledge in this particular film, even goes as far as to tell Lacy and Daniel straight up, the stronger you are as a family the harder it is for the alien's to abduct your child. Unfortunately the film never fully commits to this approach, often relying too much on cheap thrills and rather poor character development. Dark Skies is a film that will probably satisfy the average horror film viewer with a few cool ideas but its rare glimpse of promise at being more than another generic film ultimately dissipates.
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