Chronicling the days leading up to a supposed alien abduction through the eyes of a fractured suburban family, Dark Skies sees a couple and their two boys trapped in a familiar mire of unpaid bills, work pressures and teenage angst.
The ordinariness of the protagonists, who lie about a disastrous job interview or stare longingly at the girl next door, contrasts sharply with the disturbing events that threaten to rob them of their sanity.
Mum Lacy (Keri Russell) is woken in the middle of the night and discovers the contents of the fridge strewn across the floor and the back door open.
She and husband Daniel (Josh Hamilton) witness more strange occurrences. And, as these bizarre events increase in frequency and ferocity (including the mass suicide of flocks of birds), Daniel and Lacy struggle to protect their children from harm.
Lacy opens her mind to the possibility that her family is being targeted by a force from another planet and enlists the help of an alien specialist, who knows exactly what the family is going through.
Dark Skies sustains tension by grounding most of the family’s torment in reality but the familiarity of the set-up and its execution are a disappointment.