Skyline (15)

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The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/11/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Despite terrible dialogue, poor performances and a script that rips off every alien movie it can think of, Skyline still manages to deliver some B-movie style thrills, thanks to some impressive special effects and a jaw-droppingly bonkers finale that it would be churlish to spoil here.

What's it all about?
Directed by Colin Strause and Greg Strause (the brothers behind, um, Alien vs Predator: Requiem), Skyline opens with photographer Jarrod (Eric Balfour, an actor best known for getting killed off in TV shows such as Buffy, Six Feet Under and 24) and his pregnant girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) arriving in a luxurious L.A. apartment building for the birthday of Jarrod's successful best friend Terry (Donald Faison, from Scrubs). However, their post-party lie-in is rudely interrupted by the arrival of BRAIN-SUCKING ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE, who hypnotise people with rays of bright light before beaming hundreds of them into their spaceships and then sending out vicious multi-tentacled creatures to hoover up the remaining cerebral matter.

Needless to say, this sends Jarrod, Elaine, Terry, Terry's girlfriend Candice (Brittany Daniel), Terry's mistress Denise (Crystal Reed) and no-nonsense building manager Oliver (David Zayas, from Dexter) into something of a panic and they have to decide whether to flee the building and take their chances or pull down the blinds, wait it out and hope the military show up to blow the aliens into smithereens.

The Good
Considering its relatively small budget, Skyline has to be considered something of an achievement, even if blowing all the money on the special effects means that the film's locations are limited to the apartment building (actually director Greg's apartment building) and its immediate environs. The creature effects are extremely good, combining satisfyingly gloopy brain-eating sequences and some pretty impressive tentacle action.

The fact that the derivative script rips off every alien movie it can think of actually works in the film's favour, because the ending is both decidedly unexpected and gloriously, jaw-droppingly bonkers to boot.

The Bad
In true B-movie fashion, the dialogue is atrocious, the acting is wooden and the characters are woefully underwritten, so we don't really care about any of them. There's also a shockingly homophobic “joke” sequence at the beginning that should have been rewritten, although at least the character responsible is the first to get killed.

Worth seeing?
Skyline is undeniably rubbish but if you're prepared to overlook the dodgy performances and poor dialogue, it delivers some enjoyably trashy thrills and a couple of genuine shocks. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 15/11/2010 08:10

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