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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