Fanboy Flick Pick: Dark Skies Are Cloudy with a Chance of Meathead

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Many of these individual scares work, but they don't add up, which is an issue casually brushed over by having J.K. Simmons show up as an Art Bell type to explain that lab rats also don't understand what scientists are doing. That may be, and I'd be more forgiving if I thought the screenwriters had a clue what the master plan is. Basically, the aliens really like to fuck with people, busting into their houses, eating their vegetables, carefully removing photos from frames, rearranging the cans, guiding crazy birds into the windows and telling the kids scary stories...all so they can just end up abducting the first kid they made contact with anyway?

It's a great moment when the Barrett family ask which of their alarm sensors was tripped, and the response is, "all of them." It's a less great moment when the same Barretts, having been told they must stick together, pointedly split up when they know the monsters are coming back. There's a twisted sequence towards the very end that's so out there and unexpected that it genuinely unsettles and pleasantly surprises, but then things come back around to the nonsense of the master plan of the invaders, such as it is (or isn't).

Props for the family being second-generation geeks, though - one of young Sam's toys is a vintage '80s Masters of the Universe Stridor. That thing hasn't been available in decades, so it can only have been a hand-me-down.

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