Thursday, March 7, 2013

Movie Review—Dark Skies

I've been going to see the vast majority of my theatrical movies at a local theater called iPic Theaters lately in the Redmond Town Center. The tickets are quite a bit more expensive than normal—they can get close to 30 bucks for a single ticket depending on the time and other circumstances—but what do you get for that? You get reclining seats, in-theater food and beverage service (including beer and cocktails if you're so minded), a pillow and a blanket, complimentary popcorn and soda, and most important to me... fellow moviegoers who are there to see a movie, not to chatter or be chuckleheads. The fact that it's a 21 and over only theater (due to the booze availability) helps to limit the chucklehead factor as does the price.

The problem is that now and then, they don't get the movies I want to see. So when they didn't get Dark Skies... I decided it was time to test the waters of a normal theater again. And I'm happy to report that spending 30 bucks on a movie ticket is still worth it!

I went to see Dark Skies with 2 friends at 7:30 PM on a Tuesday night a week after its release. There were only four other people in the theater... and of those four, half of them were chuckleheads who talked during the movie.

Heavy sigh.

Anyway! The movie itself? It's not completely disappointing. In fact, it was relatively entertaining. The central concept is a family being tormented by greys—you know the ones; the aliens who supposedly abduct people to do experiments on them. The greys in Dark Skies are actually really well presented and SUPER creepy; the first appearance of one of them in the film is easily the best part of the movie and is in and of itself a great reason to see the movie. The rest of the movie is competently done, yet brings pretty much nothing new to the genre save for the fact that it's really pretty interesting to see a movie about greys that's paced and edited and presented as if it were a haunted house movie. Also? It's a slow burn horror movie, and I appreciate those. Give me time to get to know the characters, and build up the horror slow so that by the end of the movie it's super intense. Good times. Dark Skies doesn't do the slow burn nearly as well as The Innkeepers, House of the Devil, Paranormal Activity, Lake Mungo, Sinister, or the like... but it does good enough.

And that first shot of the alien doing its thing... yikes!
If Cave Johnson can't cope with the aliens... what hope do the rest of us have?

Dark Skies...
  • ... has a delightful cameo by J. K. Simmons.
  • ... could have benefited from an edgier, more modern script, rather than one that was too timid to wander from many of the cliches of horror movies.
  • ... spoils the coolest scene in the movie in one of its trailers... the one I posted below does NOT spoil that scene.
Grade: B–

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