After the success of the Paranormal Activity franchise, Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions branch out with different creatures that go bump in the night in 2013’s Dark Skies. Set in the suburbs, Lacy and Daniel Barrett, played by Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton, are a yuppie family struggling to make ends meet when Daniel loses his job.
To add to their woes, they suffer a series of odd break-ins at their house that can’t be explained. This causes their sons Jesse, played by Dakota Goyo, and his younger brother, Sam, played by Kadan Rockett, to start acting peculiar too. Sam, for one, claims the Sandman visits him at night.
While the setup is good, the rest of the story falls into much of the same, tired abduction plotline with some eerie visuals mixed in. The acting is more than adequate, but the pacing of the story moves at a mind-numbingly slow pace. J.K. Simmons, as UFO expert Edwin Pollard, has the potential to bring much needed energy to the movie, but his screen time is so brief, and he adds so little to the plot, that his character could have been eliminated all together. The information he gives the Barretts could have easily been looked up on the Internet instead.
The ending comes at a point where the story really begins, and you sit there wondering if you just sat through a 90-minute preview for its sequel. In this day and age where movies easily go over two hours long, there is no reason to stop the movie like this. Many people in the group I saw it with were angry at the time they wasted. Skip this one and rent Poltergeist or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You will thank me for it.