Night Skies (2007)

nightskies1b“Night Skies” is almost ninety minutes long. It falls short of that number by six minutes. Forty-seven minutes is the time it takes for our mysterious aliens to finally drop down on our hapless travelers and launch their attack. That’s almost eighty percent of the film we’re told is a horror/sci-fi movie. Supposedly based on the accounts of the original victims of this alien abduction, apparently, the writers felt that since the accounts of the supposed remaining victim of these alien abductions were possibly vague and unusable, filling the film up with over an hour of soap opera melodrama would have made for more quality entertainment. Fact is, Knyrim sets forth many plot devices and potential story elements and never pays off for the audience.

One of the biggest UFO sightings in America, to date, is the backdrop for a pretty competent science fiction thriller in the vein of “Signs.” Those who have seen the startling video of the giant UFO being spotted over the skies of the city of Arizona, will take into consideration the very interesting set-up it poses for this competent, though hardly original road trip horror flick. Two men, three rather busty women, all in a camper, are caught in the middle of a back road, in an attack by the very UFO spotted in the skies, and the shit hits the fan. Knyrim sets a lot of interesting tension in the first half of the film exploring these characters on this motor home in a back road, and though it seems pretty obvious where it will all go, he pulls it off well enough where I wanted to continue watching.

The acting from Cook and company is also pretty damn tight, and the group is pretty convincing when confronted by these quick aliens whose motives are never quite explained. Plus watching AJ Cook and Ashley Peldon bounce around for ninety minutes is always worth a good time. Why does Molly have dreams about the aliens when this plot device doesn’t even come into play later on? Why isn’t she shown nude at least once? Why was Lily’s baby so important to the aliens? What was the actual point of stopping these poor saps? When they’re not gazing up at the obviously computer generated night sky, they’re whining about their relationships, when they’re not doing that, the aliens play hide and seek appearing every fifteen minutes in the shadows to remind the audience that they’re watching a horror movie, and not a boring drama.

And Knyrim sets up very goofy jump scares that replace genuine characterization that was very possible for a taut thriller. But “Night Skies” is a missed opportunity if I’ve ever seen one. The whole marketing campaign has revolved around this film depicting what may have occurred after the phenomenon in Phoenix, but the first five minutes are the most tense, and then… nothing. Viewers will be disappointed to find that they were rearing for a good sci-fi horror flick and were basically given nothing but a lot of characters bitching at one another, and aliens playing peekaboo. There’s nothing here you’ll see that you haven’t already in “Wrong Turn,” or “The Hills Have Eyes.”

Except here we have aliens instead of freaks. It’s predictable, and it’s all so damn routine. And what’s sad is that Knyrim’s film is less about aliens, and more about melodrama. I would call this a waste of time, but watching Ashley Peldon run around in a skin tight pink tank top is not a bad way to spend ninety minutes. “Night Skies” is typical straight to video horror/science fiction fare, with your predictable plot of travelers stranded and fighting against a power deadly force, and aliens attacking humans for no apparent reason. Plot devices go unused, the dialogue is rambling and nothing is accomplished.