Lights Out

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Directed By: David SandbergLights Out

Screenplay: Eric Heisserer

Based on a Short Film by: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Maria Bello, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Andi Osho, Rolando Boyce; Maria Russell.

Although a sometimes tense horror-thriller, Lights Out felt lightweight.

This is a difficult story to tell and I don’t want to give too much away.  Suffice to say Rebecca’s (Teresa Palmer) mum’s (Maria Bello) having a meltdown and she’s scared her kid brother’s (Gabriel Bateman) in trouble.  Like she was at his age.  When she was being haunted by her mum’s imaginary friend, Dianne.

Director David Sandberg (who also created the short film) puts effort into the atmosphere of Lights Out.  The soundtrack is a creepy backdrop to the shadows and glowing eyes of the creature that is Dianne.  And the screenplay itself is well-thought with a backstory of how Dianne became.

The missing element to the film was the lack of depth of character.

Rebecca, the rebellious daughter and protagonist of the film was dismissive and her boyfriend, the ever faithful Bret (Alexander DiPersia) was frankly, too nice to believe.  Not to sound bitter but do guys like Bret actually exist?

Martin, the kid brother, was a bit strained; the mother, Sophie the only really believable character.

I love a good horror, and there were definite tense moments.  I jumped at least once.

Clever devices were used: plastic sheeting covering the bodies of plastic, life-sized models is creepy.  And tapping into the deep-seated fear of being scared of the dark was well shown with the character of Dianne conversely being scared of the light.  But because the other characters weren’t believable, it became difficult to hold the suspension of reality concerning Dianne.

The film was missing that heavy weight, the surprise I’m coming to expect from modern horror directors such as James Wan (note here he was the producer not the director for Lights Out).

Better than your average trashy horror but I’d say Lights Out was directed at a younger audience.

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Author: Natalie Teasdale

I want to share with other movie fans those amazing films that get under your skin and stay with you for days: the scary ones, the funny ones; the ones that get you thinking. With a background in creative writing, photography, psychology and neuroscience, I’ll be focusing on dialogue, what makes a great story, if the film has beautiful creative cinematography, the soundtrack and any movie that successfully scratches the surface of our existence. My aim is to always be searching for that ultimate movie, to share what I’ve found to be interesting (whether it be a great soundtrack, a great director or links to other information of interest) and to give an honest review without too much fluff. BAppSci in Psychology/Psychophysiology; Grad Dip Creative Arts and Post Grad Dip in Creative Writing. Founder of GoMovieReviews.

3 thoughts on “Lights Out”

  1. This is simple but very effective horror movie that seems to do everything exactly right. It is clever and very scary, and it does not bother with any of the lazy, cynical stuff associated with the horror genre today.

    1. Thanks for your comment Albert. It’s good to see some decent horror thrillers coming to the big screen. And I thought the story-line was clever here, but the acting a bit light in places.

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