Filmmaker and visual effects artist Scott Stewart of ‘Legion’ fame presents another aromatic plate of scare in the 2013 alien abduction movie ‘Dark Skies.’ The brooding, dark, and ominous science fiction story revolves around the Bennett family of four, whose idyllic suburban lives come at an impasse with strange and mysterious events unfolding at their household. After some probing, they realize that they may be in the company of some menacing aliens.
Impeccably crafted and brilliantly performed by a slew of noted actors, the movie may polarize some skeptics, but it is a ride that the genre fans must take. Some parts of the ending may still be shrouded in mystery for you. In that case, let us lift the veil on those tense final moments. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Dark Skies Plot Synopsis
The Barrett’s are seemingly a typical American family living in the sleepy suburbs of an unidentified township. Nothing much is happening in their lives, apart from Daniel, the patriarch struggling to get a job, and a strange sentient animal breaking into the house and eating all the lettuce. Daniel’s wife Lacy is an empathetic real estate agent losing customers due to her truthfulness.
The children of the house, older brother Jesse and younger Sammy, share a close bond, occasionally communicating over the walkie-talkies at night. Jesse is “Command Control” in the game while Sammy speaks from the “Lunar Base.” After the seemingly strange incidents, Lacy turns a bit paranoid. One night, Lacy wakes up from sleep and comes to the dining room to find bottles, lights and soda cans aligned in a mysterious structure. As she turns the lights on, they reflect a futuristic symbol on the ceiling.
Sammy comes around, and after some insistence from his mother, he divulges that the Sandman did it. On the following night, the alarm goes off, although there are no signs of a break-in. Calling the helpdesk, Daniel comes to know that all of the sensors were tripped at the same moment. The situation only turns bizarre with suicidal birds crashing at the window, somnambulism, losing time, and visions. Scouring the internet, Lacy realizes that their experiences may have something to do with the phenomenon of alien abduction.
Dark Skies Ending: Is Jesse Dead or Alive?
Although Daniel and Lacy anticipate that the aliens will take Sammy, they abduct Jesse instead. While being chased by his menacing stud friend Kevin Ratner, Jesse has a seemingly strange episode. He levitates momentarily before falling unconscious on the ground. With the news, Daniel and Lacy take him to the doctor. After examining Jesse, the doctor comes around to divulge to his parents that Jesse has geometrical marks all over his body. In a separate instance, Jesse’s crush Shelly finds similar marks on the body of Sammy while attempting to take his shirt off by the pool.
With the revelation, both the doctor and Shelly’s mother Karen (a good friend of Lacy’s) think the parents have something to do with the children’s discontents. On the other hand, after the revelation that the children have marks on their bodies, Daniel wrongly suspects Kevin Ratner to be responsible for this. He goes for a confrontation but is taken down by a sucker punch, courtesy to Ratner’s dad. Their family is increasingly ostracized in the neighborhood, and Daniel finally decides to visit ufologist and blogger Edwin Pollard in the city.
Pollard confirms that they are experiencing an alien invasion. Lacy also realizes that they are not alone in this, that there have been a plethora of alien abduction cases. While Daniel continues the conversation with Pollard, Lacy veers off to find a wall full of newspaper reports of missing children. The scene serves as an omen for what is to come. Realizing their child to be under threat, Lacy gets jolly nervous.
According to Pollard, the aliens almost always take the one in the family who makes the first contact. Due to their naturally curious and imaginative mind, the children usually become victims in alien abduction cases. Although Pollard recalls some incidents where families could ward off the grey aliens, they are seemingly less in number. He has also heard of cases where the abducted has come back to earth, but they are rare.
Pollard has found that these aliens can sense fear and use it to their advantage in his research. But he believes that they are reaching an end rather than looking at the beginning of an invasion. After knowing this, Daniel seals all the windows and keeps the family together. The parents are primed with the idea that the aliens are about to take Sammy, and they do their best to avoid destiny. But in the end, the aliens break into the house and end up taking Jesse.
Afraid of losing his brother, Jesse experiences a horrific hallucination where he finds Lucy dead and Daniel killing himself. Jesse discovers Sammy sitting on the floor, but the aliens seemingly conjure a mirage to separate Jesse from the rest. Jesse disappears while the family moves into a new place. As they are unpacking, Sammy retrieves his walkie-talkie, which is receiving faint frequencies. Sammy asks whether he is speaking to “Command Control,” and we hear a voice calling Sam from the other side. We identify the voice as that of Jesse, and wherever he is, he is still alive.
Why Do the Aliens Abduct Jesse?
Lacy and Daniel believe that the aliens would abduct Sammy, but they take Jesse instead. Following the deduction of Pollard that the aliens take the member of the family who establishes the first communication, we come to realize that it was not Sammy who made the first contact – it was rather Jesse. While scouring through the belongings of Jesse, Lacy discovers his childhood drawings depicting grey aliens.
Moreover, she remembers Pollard asking them about any allergic reactions or itches. Coincidentally, Jesse was prone to sickness as a child. He would develop chronic allergic reactions, but they became less and less prominent as he grew older. Therefore, we can be quite certain that he was the one who made the first contact. Due to this reason, the aliens take Jesse instead of Sammy.
Who Are the Grey Aliens? Does Daniel Become a Believer?
The aliens depicted in the movie are called grey aliens. They are the most represented and accessible form of aliens in popular culture and imagination. Coincidentally, seventy-three percent of all cases of alien abduction are attributed to these little humanoid creatures. The representation of these aliens in popular culture is also fairly standard – thin and feeble bodies, elongated heads, and wide black eyes. In this movie, they are shadowy creatures who can move through walls and objects. From the accounts of real-life abductees Betty and Barney Hill, the ufologists have managed to locate the residence of these aliens in the binary star system Zeta Reticuli, following which the aliens have been branded as Zeta Reticulans.
Naturally, these claims have no fundamental basis as they veer off towards a speculative zone. And Daniel is eager to dismiss Lacy’s claims as an internet conspiracy. However, after the encounter, his faith in the existence of these aliens is firmly established. The final scene sees him putting up a wall of shame, just like the one we previously saw in Pollard’s residence. Therefore, Daniel becomes a firm believer. Although Pollard’s claim that the alien invasion has already happened may come off as a controversial claim, the Fermi Paradox may shed some light on why aliens may or may not exist and why there is no concrete proof of an alien visit.
Read More: Will There Be A Dark Skies Sequel?