Saturday, October 6, 2012


Not the famous brand of Chili in Cincinnati. Not the small northern Alabama town where everyone seems to hate each other. This is Skyline the movie.

By far, the easiest type of movie to review is one that is completely awful. The jokes basically write themselves. It’s also easy enough to rave about a movie you love. The hardest movie to review, in my opinion, is one that you never form a strong opinion about and neither like it well enough to particularly recommend it or hate it enough to mock it. This is also Skyline the movie.

An artist named Jarrod (Eric Balfour from Haven and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake) and his girlfriend Elaine arrive in Los Angeles for a birthday party for Jarrod’s best friend Terry (Donald Faison from Scrubs). Terry has hit it big, and wants Jarrod to move from New York to work for him. We are treated to a dullish party where we learn Elaine is pregnant and doesn’t want to move, Terry is cheating on his wife with his personal assistant, and the building super objects to loud music. It’s a very special episode of Party of Five. If you’ve ever watched one of those TV shows about angst-ridden yuppies and wished aliens would invade and kill them all, this might be your kind of movie, because Jarrod and Elaine have arrived in L.A. just in time for a big alien invasion.

Alien spacecraft descend and produce bright lights. If you look at them, you become all veiny and are drawn into the light and sucked up into the spacecraft, no doubt for a nefarious purpose. The military is no match for the alien menace, and soon Jarrod, Elaine, Terry, and company are attempting to survive the attack and get the hell out of town.

The obvious connection to be made here is Cloverfield, a similar and better movie about a group of affluent young things trying to survive horror. In both movies, the main characters (and the viewers) never get the full story about what is going on, and seem to be a side story to the main action. In this one, the characters seem a little less sympathetic, and the ending tends toward the confusing side.

More interesting than the movie itself is the back story of how it came to be made. The co-directors are successful in the field of computer-generated special effects and self-financed the production, spending $500,000 to shoot the live action before adding $10,000,000 of special effects in post. (The movie was shot in one of the co-directors condominium building). It does look great.

I suppose this is one of those films that should be seen by viewers who love alien invasion films, a group of which I am a member. A sequel has been rumored to be in the works since this came out, but has not yet materialized.
It will clear up. Just give it time.


noigeloverlord said...

One of the worst movies I seen in awhile

Lou said...

I thought the story was that the VFX company did work for Battle:LA and lost the contract, then turned around and used the computer models they built to rush Skyline into production and beat the big budget film to the theaters. So it's less "Cloverfield" and moe "Roger Corman's Lobsterman on SyFy."

KentAllard said...

Lou, that may be right. It would certainly explain the similarities between Battle:LA and Skyline.

I would totally watch "Roger Corman's Lobsterman on SyFy" although that's probably evidence of my low taste.