When I was younger, I used to gobble up Stephen King. It was always my favorite. This movie reminds me of that book. I have not read the novel, but since it comes from the master of horror, I felt like I was going to be in for a good ride. I was not disappointed. I do not know how much of the original was kept in the final script, but there is enough left that you hear the signature stamp of King's dialogue, and there's a plus right there.
The cast is a good one. The man characters are two of the best unknown actors in the business. Thomas Jane was great in 61* and Damian Lewis was the star of Band of Brothers (and he gets to use his natural accent here). Both do a fine job. Also from Band of Brothers, do not miss Donnie Wahlberg's performance if you can spot it. Jason Lee is, as usual, is at the top of his game in a part that does not really require much, but I would have liked to hear more of the signature humor the man definitely has a talent for. And of course, there is the incredible Morgan Freeman. This part was certainly not phoned in because I don't recall Freeman playing a part like this before. I have missed some of his earlier work, and I love what he has done since Lean on Me, but this type of role doesn't really fit him. He does a great job - how can he not, but there may have been more to that role than he put into it and that's a shame. Also somewhat disapponting was Tom Sizemore. Not being enough of role to do much in, he gives us the broad outlines of a part he's played many times before. But he is a good guy, so we get to at least cheer for him.
This movie was directed by Lawrence Kasdan. He generally gives you something good or something rather plain. This fell in between. It's certainly a departure from the other films he's directed. He does a fine job with this, but there is no stamp. If anything, he does a nice job with exposition, getting to know the characters and setting up suspense. I will say that the shots of the aliens are creepy as hell. Some of the story for this film is certainly horrific and the twists are pure King. I guess that's why I give it somewhat of a pass. It's not particularly stunning, but they gave me a good story and kept me on the edge of my seat. For that, I can't help but recommend it. That is all.