Directed by Colin Strause, Greg Strause
Starring Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas
There’s a lot of controversy around this film mostly due to the fact that the two brothers that created it are being sued due to their involvement in another similar film. These guys directed this film but they were originally doing special FX for another very similar film hence the lawsuit. Outside of that what we’re looking at here is whether the film is actually good.
This story follows a young couple as they come to L.A. to visit an actor friend for his birthday. During the birthday party, aliens descend in waves upon the city. The first wave appears to be scouts sent to check out the digs and sample the local cuisine. Once the scouts approve the rest of the attack force moves in. Skyline stays with this small group of people trying to survive the attack rather than switching focus to the government and the military similar to something like Independence Day. By staying with these people we have to accept that we probably won’t learn much about the aliens and what the government will do about them. This is more along the lines of Night of the Living Dead than Independence Day.
There are problems right away. The dialogue is extremely melodramatic and pretty much none of the characters are likable. As the movie progressed I found myself sinking into this world and starting to have a really good time. By the closing credits this film had become a near camp classic. The dialogue is funny, the action is loads of fun, the aliens are creepy but they do campy things keeping the proceedings from getting to dark and the plot holes that do exist are of no real consequence to what this movie is trying to do. It’s a sci-fi roller coaster ride of silly pop corn fun. Honestly it’s a little refreshing in that way. Skyline begs comparison to Cloverfield but these are radically different movies. Cloverfield is shot home movie style and even on its limited budget Skyline is presented in a traditional glossy Hollywood style. Cloverfield is also a sea monster Godzilla film and Skyline is an alien invasion film. Believe it or not these two genres are very different.
The first real ending is surprisingly dramatic if a little predictable but the zinger coda ending takes the whole story a step further than you will ever expect and it is energizing, funny, and almost unbelievable. Is Skyline a good film in the classic sense? No, not even close. Is it a fantastic film in the tradition of classic campy science fiction films from the 60’s? Absolutely it is. There’s talk of a sequel and I truly hope it happens. Most of the fx of this film were supposedly done in the brother’s apartment and while they aren’t the best I’ve seen the art design is good fun and for the kind of film that Skyline is that work perfectly. One not to the directors though; crediting your selves in the film as The Brothers Strause is not only ridiculously elitist it just sounds kind of dumb.