7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Welcome back to the nineties,
This review is from: Dark Skies [DVD] (DVD)
Having spent my teenage years in the company of Scully and Mulder, watching their exploits every week, I sometimes forget that there might be one or two people out there who haven't watched the X-files.
`Dark Skies' (despite being named after a failed TV show/X-files clone in the nineties about an alien invasion) is about... well, it's actually about aliens. It's like the film-makers have taken the typical `horror film template' and, instead of having a regular family harassed by ghosts/monsters/whatever, they've had them harassed by aliens.
During the X-files, Scully once - cynically - said, "The alien abduction culture is now so prevalent in our society that you can ask anyone to imagine what it would be like and they would come up with the same story." What we have in Dark Skies is basically your typical alien abduction story. Yes, alien abduction stories have taken a back seat in recent years (basically since the X-files ended), but obviously the producers have felt that a suitable enough amount of time has elapsed and people might have forgotten how many there were in the nineties.
If you like horror (and possibly science-fiction) and have never seen an alien abduction story, you may well find this pretty different and scary. The aliens are creepy, the characters well-acted and the film overall quite enjoyable. Therefore, it probably deserves 4 or 5 stars (depending on how generous you're feeling).
However, I've watched the X-files. I've seen this done better on a weekly basis. I felt that Dark Skies was nothing I had seen a hundred times. It used the clichés of having the kids being targets first and their parents not believing them and fighting over what was real and what wasn't. The police then show up, but are basically useless. Then when the parents do come round to the idea of the paranormal, they seek the help of an expert (and there's always an `expert' conveniently on hand to fill in the plot points).
The X-files had the advantage of running for nine series, therefore we could slowly learn the aliens' agenda. However, Dark Skies never really lets us know what these mysterious visitors want. Even some of the bits that are meant to be scary actually made me laugh (aliens seem to want to make us pull funny faces). So, without adding anything new to the alien abduction mix, I found this watchable, but made me feel like we haven't got anything new to say on the subject in the last twenty years or so.