[Sam Moqadam/Unsplash]

Dark Skies

00:00 February 28, 2013
By: Fritz Esker
Dark-Skies_510x317
[Courtesy of Alliance Films]

** stars (out of four)

It's often true that horror and science fiction movies are more effective in their build-up than their conclusion.Explaining away the mystery often drains a film of its appeal.But the new film Dark Skies devotes almost 90% of its running time to what should be its first act or, at most, its first half.

Josh Hamilton and Keri Russell head a family of four facing some serious money issues when strange things start happening in their house.Photos disappear from their frames, food is eaten from their fridge, and soon their bodies are being possessed by unknown forces.

The idea of supernatural occurrences causing even more emotional trouble for a family that's already hanging by a thread is an interesting one, but the movie doesn't fully capitalize on this concept.There's an occasional creepy image, but the movie grows repetitive in its overuse of body possessions.About 15-20 minutes from the end, an alien expert (J.K. Simmons) explains to Russell and Hamilton what's happening.Even though it's overly expository, the scene could have worked if it were maybe halfway through the film instead of near the very end.It's followed by a rushed, unsatisfying climax.Skip it.

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