Rarely do I see a film that has already garnered as much negative publicity as Skyline. Reviews have had titles like Skyline is galactically awful to Skyline: A recipe for disaster to Skyline not even good enough for cable TV and Skyline: Trapped in a Bad Movie, With No Hope of Escape. The titles are amusing, but, really, is Skyline quite that bad?
Actually, no it's not.
Skyline still has fundamental flaws, a cast of mediocre actors playing to stereotypes, and a startlingly unsatisfying and bizarre ending, so it's by no means a great movie or even a great sci-fi horror film. Still, after classic sci-fi films like War of the Worlds posit aliens that can be defeated by the common cold or the more recent Independence Day suggests that a computer virus can bring down an über-advanced alien vessel, I appreciated the Brothers Strause attempt to create an essentially indestructible and terrifying alien life form.
The film opens with a scene of blue energy bolts shooting into LA and emitting a hypnotic ray that causes people to walk blindly into the light, just to be sucked up into the sky and thence into the bowels of a strange, alien vessel. Flash back 15 hours to Brooklyn couple Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) landing in LA to visit celebrity special effects wizard Terry (Donald Faison) and his girlfriend Candice (Brittany Daniel) and you have the basic setup. Oh, and in the midst of everything, Elaine tells Jarrod she's pregnant.
Skyline isn't a great film, and I haven't even talked about the ending, but it was entertaining and had a number of fascinating ideas, notably when one of the characters compares the bright hypnotic light and people subsequently rising into the sky to the Biblical "Rapture". That's the kind of path I wish the film would have taken, but still, it's nowhere near as bad as you may have been led to believe.