The Grade Book: “Dark Skies”

Dark Skies

Plot: A suburban family starts to experience a series of disturbing events.

Director: Scott Stewart.

Writer: Scott Stewart.

Cast: Keri Russell, Jake Brennan, and J.K. Simmons.

Genres: Sci-fi, Horror.

Running Time: 1 hour and 37 minutes.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Dark Skies has a few chilling moments and a good climax, but the film is terribly written and filled with genre cliches.



  • Joe Cauwel:

Grade: B-

They tweaked the possession/haunting recipe just enough to come out with a good product. If you like alien stuff, you will love it

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: B

Not a game-changer for the Sci-fi horror genre but a solid film on its own. It has some really good creepy moments and it made me jump out of my seat twice and left me with chills.

  • James Michael Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: D+

Blame it on my excitement over another alien abduction film turning into yet another disappointment, but Dark Skies has all the checkpoints yet none of the payoff. It’s like drinking Kool-aid without sugar. If you have seen the trailer, you have seen what Dark Skies has to offer.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: C-

This movie is surprisingly well acted, but there’s not much else good here. I hated the first hour or so of the movie, as it was boring and completely devoid of any real scares. The last half hour or so of the movie was enjoyable, especially J.K. Simmons’ part. Also, the movie has a stupid ending that leaves things open for a possible sequel. Needless to say, I really hope there isn’t one.

  • Anthony Hurtado:

Grade: D

A film that thinks it is inventive with new ways of trying to scare their viewers, but ends up making the film into more of a dark comedy than an actual scary film. With jump scares, and an ending that doesn’t live up to its potential, it is a disappointment.

  • John Maffeo:

Grade: C-

What was expected to be a miserable scrooge fest actually turned out to be somewhat enjoyable and here’s why: The scares, when they show up, are well-composed and the acting is more than serviceable though sometimes laughable. Although the first two acts are predictably cliched and bland, the climax brings legitimate entertainment to the table. J.K. Simmons creates a memorable role as well. This movie is bad by all means, but if one can hold through till the last act, there is some refreshment to be had.

  • Zachary S. Marsh:

Grade: B-

Under all of the hilariously bad moments and cliched jump scares, this movie actually has a few creepy moments and a satisfying twist that builds up to a cliffhanger for a sequel. This film isn’t perfect, but it is a lot better than the marketing would have the film appear to be.

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: B

Despite its awful marketing campaign, Dark Skies is a decent entry for a Horror/Sci-Fi film. While the film suffers from bad dialogue and silly jump scares here and there,  as a whole it is pretty solid entertainment. It produces a fair amount of scares and even brings up interesting arguments within the whole debate of whether or not aliens exist.

  • Christian Ruvalcaba:

Grade: C+

A surprisingly decent alien flick. A few thrills here and there and one specific scene made me actually re-think the truth about aliens. However, the film takes elements from classic and more modern alien films that don’t work. The script could have had a few more edited run-throughs as well. Overall, not as terrible as everyone expected.

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