The premise for “Skyline” was certainly promising enough. Make a movie that is one part “Cloverfield” and one part “Independence Day” and tell the story of an alien invasion from the point of view of Angelino apartment dwellers.
So how was the execution? The word “inept” comes to mind. Spoilers follow.
The start of “Skyline” begins with lights falling down from the sky and attracting people to it like moths to the flame. It is an interesting artistic choice to start right there with the alien invasion, with no build up or exposition to introduce the characters.
Except then there is a pointless flashback that does just that. Here is where the real problem with “Skyline” occurs. The characters that are about to be menaced by the aliens have about as much dimension and grab as much interest as those cardboard cutouts one sets up at parties. We are not sure what these people do for a living, except one seems to be in the film business and another a photographer. The women are California cookie cutter bimbo attractive. Even the building superintendent character played by David Zayas, who plays a much more interesting character on “Dexter”, seems to have been phoned in.
The rest of the movie consists mainly of the characters being chased around by evil aliens, some of whom float around in the sky, others who stalk about on the roofs and the streets of Los Angeles looking for prey. There are arresting shots of the huge space ships sucking people up into its bowls like some macabre version of the Rapture, only what is waiting for those unfortunates does not resemble Heaven in the least.
Why are the aliens here? Do they want us for slaves, food, body parts? The answer seems to be yes to all three.
There are some cool shots of the military showing up with just about every aircraft in the arsenal. One of the alien ships gets nuked which, in the great tradition of the genre, does not make much of a difference. The proximity of the explosion likely would have doomed our characters in any case, but they seem to have been immune to the effects of radiation.
Another peeve. While the water pressure eventually gives out, the apartment and the area around it seems to have power throughout most of the movie. How does that happen?
The ending is rather horrible and unsatisfying. The while film is not quite down to the standards of ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’; it is not quite campy enough for that. We will not dwell any more on it.
We are reliable told that “Skyline” took ten million dollars to make. Most of that money seems to have been spent on special effects, which were ok, but not really up to modern standards. One wonders why the studio did not shell out another two or so million to hire competent directors, writers, and actors. Then one will have not felt that one was gyped for paying the price of a movie ticket.
There is also a “Skyline 2” in the works, which seems incredible, but considering the low budget nature of the first film, might actually be justified from a financial point of view at least. But one wonders how it can be managed.
Everyone seems to be dead or are seconds away from dying as the film ends.
Source: Skyline, IMDB