Dark Skies is a 2013 science fiction film that will give you nightmares.
10 out of 10 stars. One of the best films ever made about alien abductions.
Lacey and Daniel Barrett are going through a rough patch. Daniel recently lost his job and is looking for another one. Lacey is a realtor, but sales have been low. But things are about to get a whole lot worse. Every night, their older son Jessie tells their younger son Sam scary stories about the Sandman who eats kids’ eyes and lives on the Moon. They do this via walkie-talkies.
It starts with mysterious sounds in the kitchen at night. Lacey goes to investigate and finds food on the floor in a trail to the open patio door. This isn’t a little food. It’s like everything from their fridge was dragged out, opened, and strewn about the kitchen floor. Lacey and Daniel assume it was animals. However, only the vegetables were eaten, not the meat. And animals don’t open cans of soda and pour them on the floor.
The next night Lacey wakes to ringing in her ears and goes to the kitchen. All of the canned goods and boxed food are arranged in tall stacks in the kitchen and there is a symbol on the ceiling that looks like a crop circle. They report this to the police. The cop who comes to investigate tells them it’s probably one of the kids sleepwalking.
The next day, while Lacey is showing a house, the child of the couple viewing the house has an asthma attack. Lacey tells the mom that Jessie was sick all the time as a child, allergic to everything, but he eventually grew out of it.
The next night the house alarm goes off. The alarm company calls and tells them every entry point was tripped at the same time, so it must be a malfunction. When they go into the living room, all of the photos have been taken out of the frames. They report this to the police. The same cop once again blames the kids and calls it a prank. The repairman for the alarm company can’t find anything wrong with the equipment.
Lacey and Daniel talk to Jessie and Sam and ask them if they took the pictures. They say no. Lacey asks Sam if he had a dream about the Sandman again. He tells her he can’t say because the Sandman told him not to say. After they leave the room, Jessie assumes that Sam took them and tells him to put them back. Sam tells him the Sandman took them. Meanwhile Daniel is scratching behind his right ear.
The next day Sam pees himself at the park with Daniel. He can’t speak and he’s staring at something no one can see. Then he screams hysterically. Meanwhile at home, 800 birds crash into the windows at their house while Lacey is doing laundry. And she finds a picture that Sam drew with him and an alien.
They have the city come and take a look at the dead birds. When they talk to Sam about the park incident, he says he was playing with the kids in the grass then he wasn’t himself anymore.
The next night Lacey hears Sam talking to someone in his room. When she goes in there, she sees a dark figure hovering over Sam in his bed. She turns on the light and both the figure and Sam disappear. She runs and wakes Daniel and together they look for Sam and find him outside sleepwalking. Again he mentions dreaming about the Sandman. Lacey and Daniel argue because Daniel doesn’t believe she saw anything.
The next day Daniel looks at the back of his right ear with a hand mirror and sees several holes in his skin. Meanwhile Jessie goes with his friend Rat and both of their girlfriends to a place that Rat knows. There they get high on marijuana and make out with the girls. Since Jessie has never kissed a girl before he’s sort of high on the bike ride home. The lights start blinking and then going off behind him and he gets really scared.
Daniel puts up cameras all over the house and streams the footage to his laptop. He stays up all night watching the cameras. Or so he thinks.
In the morning he wakes up at the computer and replays the night’s footage. Between 2 am and 3 am the cameras recorded static and the static moved room by room through the house and then back.
Lacey shows a house and in the middle of talking to the couple, she loses the ability to speak then bangs her head against a glass patio door until the glass breaks and she almost gives herself a concussion. She wakes up six hours later in her house in bed in her pajamas. The phone rings and her boss tells her what happened. She’s fired because he thinks she’s having a nervous breakdown. When she looks in the mirror sees the massive bruise on her head. She can’t remember any of the last six hours. The phone rings a second time and the National Wildlife Center tells her that the birds were from three flocks, did not have avian flu, and were drawn to her house by something.
Lacey searches “mass bird deaths” on the computer and comes across an article “Signs You’ve Been Chosen”. The article outlines everything that’s been happening to them as signs that their family have been chosen by aliens for scientific experiments. It shows the signs they saw on the kitchen ceiling, the bird deaths, the pictures Sam has drawn of him and aliens, and almost everything that’s happened to them.
Daniel comes home, announcing he’s gotten a job with a new architect firm. They celebrate and the kids stay with their friends.
In the middle of the night, Lacey wakes and Daniel isn’t in bed. She finds him outside on the lawn with his mouth hanging open. When he looks at her, his nose starts bleeding. Then he walks back into the house and wakes with no memory of what’s happened. So Lacey tells him what happened that day then shows him the article and tells him what she’s learned about alien abduction. She wants to go see the guy who wrote the article. He still doesn’t believe and treats her like she’s nuts.
The next day while Sam is with their friends at their swimming pool, he won’t go in. When they try to coax him in they lift his shirt and see him covered with black bruises. At the same time Jessie is in the woods with his friend Rat and Rat is shooting him with a paintball gun, chasing him. Jessie hears ringing in his ears, stops, and is suddenly taken over by something odd. His eyes roll back in his head and he shakes uncontrollably.
Lacey and Daniel are called to the hospital. The doctor does an MRI and tells them Jessie has been through some kind of severe emotional disturbance. He’s also covered in tattoos that were put on him with a brand. He reports them to Child Protective Services.
Daniel assumes Rat did something to Jessie and attacks him. Rat’s dad comes outside and beats up Daniel then Rat goes around telling everyone that Daniel is crazy. (Keep in mind Rat sells drugs, gets other kids hooked on drugs, and steals his dad’s porn videos to show to his friends. Not exactly an upstanding citizen.)
While Lacey is holding an ice pack to Daniel’s face their friends come to the door with Sam and tell them about his bruises. Sam told them the Sandman did it.
Once again, Daniel falls asleep watching the video surveillance. He wakes up right at 1:23 am and the cameras are recording static. He runs to Sam’s room and Sam’s eyes are missing. Then Daniel wakes up on the sofa. He goes to the laptop and views the surveillance. When he slows down the static he sees tall shadowy figures hovering over Jessie in Jessie’s bedroom, Sam in Sam’s bedroom, and over Lacey in their bedroom. He wakes up Lacey and tells her he’s ready to believe.
The next day they go to see the man who wrote the article, Mr. Pollard, who lives in a large noisy apartment building in the city. He asks them a series of questions that are supposed to eliminate the crazy people from bothering him. And it immediately becomes obvious they are being visited by aliens.
The first thing you notice about Pollard’s apartment are the news articles, redacted government papers, and other documents on the walls. The second thing you notice are all the cats. Pollard tells them dogs always bark when the aliens come around. Cats don’t. Since he stopped fighting them, he moved to a building that doesn’t allow dogs and got a bunch of cats so he could sleep better at night.
The aliens are called grays. 90% of reports are grays. 10% are other types of aliens. Pollard doesn’t think the other accounts are credible, only the grays.
Sign 1. Severe headaches or migraines.
Sign 2. Ringing in your ears that’s only inside your head.
Sign 3. Unexplained illnesses, allergies, or nosebleeds.
Sign 4. Witnessed any abnormal behavior by animals.
Sign 5. Experienced any blackouts or missed time.
Sign 6. Experience the feeling that you might not be in control of your body.
What he tells them is that their family has been chosen, he doesn’t know why, and their house has been marked by the aliens. They’ve also been marked by implants in their bodies like the one behind Daniel’s right ear. Pollard also has one that he tried removing. It just burrowed deeper into his head.
He says they experiment on us and use our fears against us by playing pranks on us and hiding things in our homes. They control us through the implants and make us see things that are not there.
The scariest thing he tells them is that once the grays let you know they’re there, it’s a countdown. It means they’re getting ready to take someone from their family, usually the first member of the family they contacted. Daniel and Lacey both assume it’s Sam. Their only hope is that if they make it so difficult for the grays, they’ll go to another family and take someone else. Once a member is taken, occasionally they will bring them back, but not always.
Lacey goes to the pound with Jessie and adopts an aggressive German shepherd. Daniel goes to a gun shop and buys a gun and ammunition. They board up the windows and try to make the house secure. Jessie runs to his girlfriend and tells her he thinks he knows what his dad is trying to keep out, but if he told her she’d think he was crazy. When he comes home, Daniel tells him no matter what, not to let Sam out of his sight.
Dinner is a somber affair. They’re all scared. Apparently, it’s the fourth of July and everyone is setting off firecrackers. They tell the kids stories about when they were little and watch fireworks on TV. Then the TV turns to static and the dog starts barking. Daniel guards the door and orders Lacey to take the boys upstairs. Lacey puts the boys in a room and tells them not to open the door no matter what. She stands guard outside their room.
Downstairs, the aliens remove the boards from the windows effortlessly (and telepathically) even though Daniel shoots at them. Within seconds they are already inside the house and lure Lacey away from the boys’ door. They lure her into the master bedroom then lock her in. Daniel rushes upstairs and gets the boys then breaks into the master bedroom where Lacey is. All four of them sit on the bed while aliens surround them and Daniel shoots them. The rest of the scene is like a creepy nightmare. They make Jessie see things and imagine that Sam is in danger. He rushes to help him and is suddenly surrounded by aliens out in the hallway. Daniel shouts his name and he screams as the aliens take him away.
As the film closes, Lacey, Daniel, and Sam have moved to a crowded apartment in the city. They have articles and abduction stories on the walls like Pollard did. And Daniel is on the phone with their attorney because they’ve been charged in Jessie’s disappearance. Lacey is going through old school papers and mementos of Jessie’s and comes across pictures he drew when he was four or five. They’re of him being surrounded by aliens. Like Sam, they started visiting him when he was young. He never told his parents. Suddenly the walki-talkie springs to life and Jessie’s voice is screaming for Sam.
10 out of 10 stars. Terrifying because a lot of it is real.