THANK GOD now that I can stop thinking about the inevitable end of the world for like a second I can get back to my special edition extended 31 for 90-ish (or however long it takes). And luckily the next movie on the list is one of my favorites, which helps because I am SO TIRED THIS WEEK, GUYS.
I watched Dark Skies for the first time several years ago for this project, and it’s stuck with me ever since. If you like alien abduction horror, this is a pretty great example of the genre and, for the first time basically ever, the kids are actually the best part.
Dark Skies is about a painfully white suburban upper middle-class family struggling to maintain that position once the dad loses his job and can no longer afford the MASSIVE house and privileged lifestyle to which they are accustomed. So while Mom and Dad gossip with the neighbors and bicker about shutting off the cable, their two sons tell scary stories to each other over walkie talkies and just generally exemplify a healthy sibling relationship in the face of their parents being kind of garbage.
UNTIL SPOOKY SHIT STARTS HAPPENING.
It starts with things being moved around in the house and photos going missing, and the youngest son starts talking about something coming into his room, telling him secrets, and being creepy, as these things do. But as soon as Dad finally sucks it up and invests in home security, the problems with the youngest son escalate to mysterious behavioral issues and memory loss. Mom mentions maybe taking the kid to therapy because he is CLEARLY not well, but Dad loses his entire mind because THERAPY IS SOOOOO EMBARRASSING AND WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBORS SAY AND ALSO WE CAN’T AFFORD IT AND ALSO THERAPY IS EMBARRASSING AND BAD AND EMBARRASSIIIIIIIIIIING did I mention these parents are objectively bad parents. It’s not until similar things start to happen with the older son as well that the parents agree to GO SEE A DOCTOR, but by that point shit is well and truly fucked.
More weird shit goes down and Mom starts googling to discover that a lot of the recent events can be explained by one thing and one thing only:
And then the rest of the movie happens.
Okay so I am doing a very bad and lazy job of describing this movie because this election week has ruined my ability to think good and do words, and also because I don’t actually want to include spoilers of all the good parts because I do want people to see this one. So while the premise of “weird things happen to family and it’s aliens” sounds pretty basic, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s better than that. It’s successfully spooky and the scares still get me even on the third viewing, and the cast is very good at pulling it all off. (And JK Simmons shows up as the expert on aliens because of course he does.) At the end of the day I’m not entirely sure why I love this movie so much, but I really do. It’s well-executed, tells a good story, and the climax at the end just sticks in my head for some reason. Because of how good it is? Or whatever.
Boy what a great review I have written.
I don’t have the energy or brains to tell you why but…FIVE HORRORS BECAUSE I JUST LIKE IT.