Lights Out – Review

Posted on March 3, 2021Comments Off on Lights Out – Review

Last weekend I got a little tipsy and made the mistake of browsing digital movie sales online. I say mistake because I’m worse than a housewife on Amazon when it comes to movies. However, one such movie was on sale that I had been meaning to see for some time, Lights Out. I hadn’t  seen it because I have to be in the right mindset for jump scares. Turns out 2 shots and 2 beers put me in the right mindset. So I cracked another beer, turned on the movie, and buckled in for the ride under my softest blanket. Don’t judge. Here is my review!

Lights out is a 2016 horror film by director David F. Sandberg, and is based on a short film by the same name that he also directed for the Bloody Cuts Film Festival where he won best director. I actually remember seeing the short film shortly after it came out and  it was an incredibly effective and well made scare. There have since been plenty of knock offs, so when I saw the trailer for the movie as it was coming out, I was pleased to hear it was by the original director from the short.

Lights Out Light

Lights Out Plot and Characters

Lets talk plot and characters. A young college age woman is called on by her younger half brother (about 10 years old) to help because scary things are happening and mom’s gone nuts. It stars Teresa Palmer, known for films like Warm Bodies and Hacksaw Ridge, as the main protagonist trying to live her life on her own. She is actually a very relatable and well developed character, and the dynamic she has with her boyfriend played by Alexander John DiPersia is fun without being far fetched. In fact I think Alexander’s character was my favorite in the movie. He really plays the perfect naïve sweetheart boyfriend that’s along for the ride. Also his arc when stuff starts going crazy is damn near perfect.

It also stars Maria Bello you may know from films like the Grown Ups and Prisoners. She plays a mother seemingly loosing her grip on things. I won’t go too much more into detail about that to avoid spoilers. Her character is by far the weakest aspect of this film, but she still did a really good job selling the troubled home dynamic. Her delivery with some key moments sent chills down my already inebriated spine. Even Gabriel Bateman known from Annabelle and the new Child’s Play movie did a good job. Not perfect, but for a child actor in a horror movie he did really well. I mean they can’t all be like Haley Joel Osment in the sixth sense.

Final Thoughts

Listen for a gimmick horror movie this movie has no right to be as good as it is. It is a rather short movie, about 70 minutes including credits, and in my experience, movies of that length typically have some major pacing issues or series problems with plot. And while the plot is based on a silly gimmick, there is enough there, that it doesn’t leave you scratching your head. Plus the affects are all very simple and for the most part practical. The monster definitely has some CGI, but kind of reminds me of The Babadook. At least in its unreal esthetic.

Alright final verdict. I loved this movie. I expected a serviceable thrill ride, which it was, but it was also so much more. With great story telling, interesting characters, a creepy monster, and an effective gimmick, I was moments away from throwing the blanket over my head. May or may not have gone to sleep with my head covered… You get it… If you like horror, go check out this movie. It really is a gem. I’m giving Lights Out an 8 out of 10!

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