Grey Skies

One More Anonymous Alien Movie for the Pile.  But I Kinda Liked This One

Main Cast: Aaron McPherson and Stacy Jorgansen

Director: Kai Blackwood

There are a few types of movies that will always grab my attention. Found footage. Haunted houses. And aliens. I love any movie about UFOs, so naturally Grey Skies was right up my alley. And while the setup isn’t the most original concept in the world, it’s still about aliens and UFOs, so it’s on my watch list.

In this one (written by Mark Reilly–previously a production supervisor on the Kirstie Alley semi-reality show “Fat Actress”–and directed by Kai Blackwood whose only other real credit is a short called Cupcake), a group of college friends–Robert (Aaron McPherson) and his fiance Jenny (Stacy Jorgensen), Hayden (Jeff Lorch), Michael (Michael Cornacchia) and Annie (Anne Griffen). Hayden has also brought new girlfriend Sandy (Shelley Dennis) and Michael has brought his boy toy Brian (Jeff Schuetze)–the actors who play Michael and Brian would also appear together in the TV series “The Pacellis”) are gathering for an annual get-together. This year is Robert’s turn to pick the location and he’s found the perfect spot in a secluded house–this ain’t no cabin, this is a large, beautiful, I’d gladly move there, house–in the middle of nowhere.

It’s perfect for partying, the owner tells them. You can be as loud as you want and there’s no one around to hear you. They don’t know how right she is, but they’ll soon find out when a mysterious light in the woods leads one member, Hayden, and his tag-along girlfriend Sandy into the woods at night to find out what’s what.

The next morning, Hayden is found naked in the woods with no memory of what happened last night. Later that day, Sandy turns up missing, then they discover her necklace has been fused into the ceiling. When Sandy re-appears, naked in the hall, everyone helps her into a car and they all try to take off back to civilization because there’s obviously something going on here.

Only, the cars won’t start. Back inside, the group is terrorized by mysterious figures and general paranoia about each other, wondering who among them the creatures have already gotten to without being noticed.

I liked the atmosphere of Grey Skies, and the tension between the characters. I felt the script had some serious weaknesses, like when gay character Michael lifts the hood of his car when it won’t start, then asks, Does anyone know how to fix these things? I’m gay. As if that’s all the excuse one needs to not be able to work on cars. That’s a cheap shot and an unfair stereotype: I’m straight and I can’t fix cars, either.

The acting wasn’t the strongest, but it got the job done. Blackwood used his camera to good effect, setting the tone immediately that something is slightly off-kilter with several Dutch angle shots in the beginning of the movie. And when it came to showing the aliens, there were several incredibly creepy reveals there, too. Unfortunately, the alien costumes weren’t the strongest things in the world, especially when given too much screen time; the seam between the headpiece and the body was way too visible and it totally threw me out of the movie.

I think there were some really good moments here, but I also feel there were a few too many things left unresolved or explained in the end of the movie. It’s obvious from the ending that there’s a much bigger picture here, but I think they could have given just a few more clues as to what that might be, in order to give the end of the movie a stronger, more defined note to go out on.

As for the characters, I didn’t connect with any of them and wasn’t crazy about any of them on any level. That could be because I never went to college and only still talk to 2 people I went to high school with, and these aren’t even people I hung around with in school. So it could just be a totally different life experience I’m drawing from that leaves me somewhat removed from them.

While far from the best “aliens are coming to get us” movie I’ve ever seen, Grey Skies does have enough to let me recommend this on and give it a good 3 ½ stars. That’s not bad. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of these actors in other roles to get a better comparison and help me figure out if they’re any good or not. This movie gave most of them too few opportunities to do much except keep quiet and hang back when they didn’t have any lines in that particular scene. But in the end, it’s a pretty descent movie and I’d watch it again if I chanced upon it on TV some night.

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