Welcome to Reverend Wayne Austin Goodchild's official blog. Not that there's an unofficial one...

Click WAYNE GOODCHILD IS HAUNTED to go to his Facebook page! There's good stuff on it! Honest!

...all work on here is copyright wayne goodchild, unless otherwise stated, you cheeky monkeys...

Sunday, 6 April 2014


I'd like to start this post by asking you a few simple questions:
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night to find the contents of your kitchen rearranged in spectacular fashion?
  • Have all the family photos inexplicably vanished?
  • Did something set off your burglar alarm, yet every door and window remained locked?
  • Has your youngest son blamed weird behaviour on an "imaginary" friend?
  • Bleeding from your face? Headbutting windows? Doing a wee in your pants in public?
  • Are financial problems providing both familial stress and a convenient way to brush off all this weirdness?
  • Did you use the internet to find answers to these problems, and discover that you're being targeted by aliens?
If you answered YES to most or all of these, then I'm afraid you're stuck in the fantastically generic DARK SKIES (2013). If you're also in love with sound design that blasts music and sound fx at a volume 50% louder than everything else, then buddy you're really in trouble.

Nope. Wrong one!
The Somethings are a Typical American Family. Mum's a realtor, dad's a I-don't-know-what-but-it-involves-getting-contracts, the youngest son is prone to talking about a character from his dreams and the oldest son is hanging around with an older boy and discovering girls. They've got Normal Everyday Problems, just like you or I sometimes face! Dad's hoping he gets some contract for something, mum's trying to sell a shitty house, the youngest thinks their arguments mean they're splitting up and the teen is quite bland, really. Boy oh boy, what these squares really need is some excitement in their life! Like, cheap jump scares and horrific dream visions!

Nope. Still the wrong one!
Not only that, but they should probably get lumbered with The World's Most Patronising Cop. But they're not alone, as these guys only really seem to work in horror movies. Weird things happening? "It'll be the kids playing pranks!" they say. But the shit going down here is fucking MENTAL, like LITERALLY UNEXPLAINABLE BY NATURAL LAWS.  "It'll be the kids playing pranks!" they say. "Mine were like it ha ha ha! Kids, eh? Seesh!"

Maybe their friends and neighbours will help? Not if the house is bombarded by hundreds of suicidal birds, they won't! Suddenly, you're all 'dangerous' and 'suspicious'. Better than 'knee-jerk reactionary', pal! What can a family facing such a dilemma possibly DO? What can they DO? Oh lordy there must be something they can DO!


The internet! That knows everything!

Okay, let's cut them some slack. Fifteen years ago you'd have asked a librarian. Nowadays, you ask the internet. But, like medical self-diagnosis, it can't always be trusted. So that's when you turn to the experts!

You find the dude who played J. Jonah Jameson but who now looks like Miguel Ferrer doing an Indiana Jones impression. Who lives in a dingy house filled with newspapers. Clearly, the man knows his stuff. If he has a handkerchief, you just know it'll be embroidered with 'EXPERT'.

So he tells the family some stuff, and my attention wandered for a considerable amount of time and then the aliens are attacking the house! OH NO. There they are, all shadowy and spindly, yet flooding everywhere with bright white light and altering reality for some reason that only comes into play now and not at any point before. For instance, a door is shown bulging and straining unnaturally as some terrible blinding white force pushes through--but it was actually the dad, desperate to rescue his sons! Oh no that's not the aliens messing with reality, that's cheap and lazy filmmaking. But then they DO mess with reality and for some reason make the SPOILERS. Oooof, nearly ruined it! I mean, in a way the filmmakers couldn't. But god bless 'em if they didn't try! The film then ends in a way that appears to set up events that I think would be infinitely more interesting to examine than every single thing that came before. Paradoxically, the conclusion is also something those of us in the business refer to as "bullshit".

Oh, I give up.
Should you disparage a film for being so predictable you could set your watch by the story beats? Or is this simply reliability? Can something be a guilty pleasure if you don't derive pleasure from it, nor feel guilty about watching it YET don't actively hate it? That's your homework for this week as I'm still struggling to figure it out.

Argh. And this is wrong, too. Ridiculous.