Movie Reviews

Published on July 22nd, 2016 | by Don Guillory

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Lights Out

Growing up, we all had a fear of the dark. Years later, many of us still carry this phobia. It prevents us from going into certain parts of our homes or places we are familiar with unless we have the assistance of light in some form. The darkness symbolizes and encapsulates the unknown. What is it that is hiding in the darkness? Why is it that we cannot trust it? Is there really something lurking in the shadows or is it all in our minds?

In Lights Out audiences bear witness to this fear and are confronted with how this fear becomes a reality for one family. Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) is trying to make a life of her own after becoming estranged from her family. When her brother begins to experience the same problems at home that had plagued her as a child, she is brought back into the center of chaos. All of the fears return and she must save her family from a dark spirit that has attached itself to her mother before it consumes them all.

The film itself offers the ability for audiences to explore some of their earliest fears which had them leaving a light on or plugging in a night light in their rooms in order to feel safe. The film is inventive in its approach and storytelling, but I felt as though there was more to be offered with respect to the villain and relationships between the characters. Greater depth about their backstories would have allowed audiences to feel more invested in the characters and even more interested in the outcome.

For those that are looking forward to a movie that will have them jumping out of their seats, this film delivers. Many of those moments are not as predictable in many other films of the horror genre, nor does it rely on gore in order to shock audiences. Through the direction of David Sandberg, the tension is allowed to build and help carry the story to its culmination. I am looking forward to more adaptations of universal fears and phobias on screen. Lights Out does not disappoint in being a fright-filled popcorn movie.

 

3.5/5

Second Review by Tracey Barrientos

Lights Out was a 2013 short film turned into a feature full length film directed by David F. Sandburg and produced by James Wan (The Conjuring). The film follows Rebecca (Teresa Palmer), a seemingly independent and strong young woman. Her strength and independence attracts a very handsome Bret (Alexander DiPersia), but because of her “daddy issues” she is unable to make a commitment to him that he is looking for. Meanwhile, in the other half of her life she has a ten year old half brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) whom just lost his father and lives with their widowed mother Sophie (Maria Bello). Sophie often spends her time in her room in the darkness talking to an unseen force. She refers to her friend as Diana. Diana only appears in the dark. One night Martin actually sees Diana with her abnormally long fingers scratching at the walls. He begins falling asleep during school which prompts the school to contact child services and his sister Rebecca. She has tried to leave the past in the past but her brother needs her help and is forced to face the fears of her childhood head on.

In all honesty the film in a whole was disappointing. I understand that this originated from a short film and perhaps as such it would’ve been ok. I am always looking for the next greatest horror film but this one has proved to be a dud. Granted, there were a couple of pop out scares but again those were few and far between. Also, that pop and lock style walk that is used in many supernatural films was one if not the only thing that made the ghostly villain creepy. I did however enjoy seeing the role reversal with the mother being the one with the imaginary friend rather than the child. The mother is seen as crazy when in all actuality she is just suffering from depression. For those of you that aren’t bothered with predictability, this film may be for you. However, with that being said if you would like to see this film it may be best to wait for it to come to a Redbox.

2.5 out of 5 stars.


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