Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Lights Out

Year of Release:  2016
Director:  David F. Sandberg
Screenplay:  Eric Heisserer, based on the short film Lights Out by David F. Sandberg
Starring:  Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello, Billy Burke
Running Time:  81 minutes
Genre:  Supernatural horror

Rebecca (Palmer) worries about her young half-brother Martin (Bateman), who lives alone with her estranged mother Sophie (Bello), who suffers from mental illness.   Rebecca soon finds out that martin and Sophie are both haunted by a powerful supernatural entity known as Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey) who only manifests in the dark, a being that Rebecca remembers from her own childhood, and that now seems to be coming after her.

Most good horror films tap into a primal fear, in this case fear of the dark, one of the most universal fears there are.  Starting out as an award winning three minute short film, this isn't a particularly good movie, it relies too much on the same scares, the characters aren't particularly well sketched out, there are few surprises and the entity and the rules by which it operates are shown too early on, which diminishes her effectiveness later on.  Having said this however, there are times when it does work, and some of the scares provide a real jolt, and as a whole there is enough entertainment to pass the time, particularly when they try and find ingenious ways to provide light.  The entity herself, a shadowy, spindly, clawed figure rising out of the darkness, is striking.

Gabriel Bateman and Teresa Palmer in Lights Out          

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