MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Dark Skies’ engages emotions, not brain

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

For anyone who likes to be spooked out by a movie, “Dark Skies” can do the job.
It stars Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton as a pair of suburban parents trying to put up a good front during hard times.
Little do Lacy and Daniel Barrett know that their hard times are just beginning.
At first, they think someone with plenty of creativity and too much time is messing with them, and the trouble could be caused by one of their kids, Sam (Kadam Rockett) and Jesse (Dakota Goyo).
Over the course of the movie, the weird occurrences become more frequent and more intrusive, and they affect the family members in different ways.
The family’s outward veneer is stripped as friends, neighbors and authority figures start to see the Barrett’s suburban life falling apart.
And still, the family doesn’t know exactly what’s causing their trouble, nor do they know why they’ve been singled out for such treatment.
I’ve been deliberately vague because I don’t want to ruin “Dark Skies” for anyone who might enjoy its chilling and startling moments. Writer and director Scott Stewart knows how to manipulate an audience’s emotions.
I’m not a big fan of pictures like this, so it’s hard for me to be won over. But I have been won over in the past, so I know quality when I see it, and “Dark Skies” isn’t it.
When everything is explained at the end, I was annoyed, though not as annoyed as a woman in the theater who spouted a few obscenities at the screen.
I can’t be specific, but “Dark Skies” ends in a way that made me think, That’s just stupid. The big reveal is supposed to make all the little events in the movie add up to something. Instead, it subtracts.
If you’re primed for vicarious frights, “Dark Skies” probably will deliver. But if you want anything other than scary moments, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
I give “Dark Skies” a D.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Wizard review
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Dark Skies” a C.

“It was quite disturbing at times. I don’t like to think about it.”