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Night Skies

Sony Pictures // R // January 23, 2007
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted January 7, 2007 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Take all the really boring parts of your average slasher flick, toss in a whole bunch of goofy dialogue and semi-inept acting performances, and then finish the whole thing up with a goopy interstellar kidnapping sequence, and you've got Night Skies, a chat-heavy chore of a movie that dances around the sci-fi stuff for 75 minutes before doling out a third act that feels a whole lot like outtakes from that old Fire in the Sky flick.

There's really not much to the flick: a camper full of pretty obnoxious young folks have an accident on a forest road, nearly killing a random motorist in the process. Thus begins a virtually endless series of arguments, fights, and rather silly "filler" conversations that exist only to make the flick reach a minimal running time. (Indeed, there are at least 5 or 6 dialogue scenes that add literally nothing to the movie aside from extra minutes.) And just as soon as you're ready to give up on the blab-laden affair, we finally get sucked into a silly-looking spaceship in which nasty aliens insert icky things into screaming humans.

Frankly if the whole of the flick maintained some of the intensity evident in the final 12 minutes, it'd be a whole lot easier to recommend the thing. (Hey, just like that Fire in the Sky flick!) The cast is pretty uniformly bland, although leads Jason Connery and AJ Cook do manage to infuse just a touch of personality into the proceedings. Most of the characters, however, are one-note whine-bags, caricatures of varying vacuousness that simply wander around the screen before it's their turn to get dispatched by aliens. This approach helps to make the xx-minute Night Skies feel like a three-night mini-series -- one in which very little actually happens.

Allegedly based on actual events that took place in Phoenix in 1997, Night Skies suffers from way too much set-up and not nearly enough pay-off. To be fair, director Roy Knyrim brings a few diverting touches to his low-budget (and very familiar) affair, but (again) most of "the good stuff" comes in Act III, and by that point you might be so bored and annoyed you won't even care anymore.

The DVD

Audio/Video: The movie is presented in a pretty solid anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer, with audio delivered in Dolby Digital 5.1 English. Optional subtitles are available in English only.

Extras: Nada.

Final Thoughts

Nothing wrong with a good "alien abduction" flick, and if you're able to combine it with a goody gory horror approach, well, all the better! But despite its small handful of quality components, Night Skies is a pretty standard affair overall. Plus it takes forever to get to that aforementioned "good stuff."

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