Cert 15 | ***
DARK SKIES contains nearly every single horror film trope there is: cute children saying disturbing things, “he’s behind you” tracking shots, flocks of birds falling from the sky, weird rashes, people turning around to reveal they’ve got dark hollows for eyes. It’s even got the most up to date cliché of all: the anxious typing of unexplained phenomena into Google (here it’s “mass bird deaths”).
There’s a reason these tropes appear in countless films: they’re scary. Few things are more frightening than a cute toddler with holes for eyes saying “the sandman took them mummy”. Or even just going downstairs in your house at night (the main device used in Dark Skies).
This film doesn’t even attempt to do anything imaginative. Everything is as it seems. Every time you think there might be a twist or that something unexpected might happen, it’s always the most reasonable option. But that’s okay. Director Scott Stewart has excellent command of the horror genre. There are frights at every turn.