FrightFest 2020: SKYLIN3S Review – A Blockbuster VFX Spectacle And A Fitting Conclusion To The Sci-Fi Action Trilogy
Starring Lindsey Morgan, Daniel Bernhardt, Cha-Lee Yoon, James Cosmo, Rhona Mitra
Directed by Liam O’Donnell
FrightFest 2020 ended with a bang, with Skylin3s offering all the explosive action and VFX spectacles one would expect to see in a summer blockbusters instead of in a film playing at a horror festival. But we should inform you that if you haven’t seen the first two Skyline movies, you probably won’t be able to follow much of what goes on here. Although Skylin3s opened with a lengthy prologue sequence in which a narrator recapped the events of the previous instalments, you’re still bound to have a hard time understanding the plot if you’re not already familiar with the franchise. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that this entry was directed by Liam O’Donnell, who also directed 2017’s Beyond Skyline, as the two films almost seem like they were shot back to back due to how closely the stories are connected.
Anyway, since the first two movies dealt with the alien invasion, Skylin3s deals with the aftermath, with civilisation struggling to rebuild itself after the devastation caused by the aliens. A significant portion of the humans in the world have also been transformed into alien creatures known as Pilots, and while they can no longer speak English and instead communicate using a strange alien language, most of their regular human counterparts have no problems understanding what they’re saying. And while Skylin3s is unquestionably an R-rated movie, most of the Pilots’ subtitled dialogue was censored to remove profanity, which seems like an odd decision in a movie where people are literally ripped apart by aliens, with entrails spewing in all directions. The plot also features a global pandemic, which we mention without comment.
Lindsey Morgan stars as Rose Corley, a woman who possesses incredible powers as a result of being infused with alien DNA. In this instalment, Rose and her team of warriors need to embark on a mission to an alien world to see if they can uncover a possible cure for the pandemic and a reason behind why the aliens attacked Earth in the first place. Despite the somewhat convoluted first act, as soon as the team leave Earth to embark on their mission on the strange alien planet, the plot took a more straightforward action adventure approach, with Rose using her superpowers to great effect and Morgan giving her performance everything she has. Daniel Bernhardt was also on top form as Owens, a combat veteran who might be hiding a dark secret, and Cha-Lee Yoon impressed us as Zhi, a data analyst who uses his fists as well as his brain when the need arises. That being said, although most of the film took place in space, there were still a number of scenes on Earth following a human scientist played by Rhona Mitra, a talented actress who we would love to see in more high profile productions.
However, despite the somewhat convoluted plot, it must be said that Skylin3s was an incredible looking film when you take into account its limited budget. The filmmakers clearly put the resources they had to good use, because this almost had the look and feel of a more expensive summer blockbuster despite being produced for a fraction of the cost. So even if you find the plot and the constant references to the events of the earlier movies to be hard to keep track of, this is still an extraordinary film from a visual perspective.
Overall, even though its plot may be difficult to understand if you haven’t seen the first two instalments, Skylin3s still offered incredible visual effects despite its limited budget and dedicated performances from its cast, making it a film we would absolutely recommend to our readers.
While newcomers might find it a little hard to follow, fans of the previous Skyline movies will probably be satisfied with how Skylin3s concludes the franchise, at least until the studio decides to release a fourth instalment.