Saturday, 23 July 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: LIGHTS OUT



9/10

When the lights go out the creature called Diana stalks the halls of Rebecca’s family house. With her mother Sophia suffering from mental illness and her young brother Martin experiencing sleep depravation, it is up to Rebecca to figure out what is going on and fight off the creature of the dark that is ready to consume her family.

LIGHTS OUT was introduced early in the year with a very effective trailer, showing a dark shape that can only be seen in the dark and disappears as soon as the lights come up. When the lights go out and come up again, the creature stands a little bit closer. Until it’s so close there’s no escape. 

That one gimmick shown in a trailer, has been thrown at you left right and center through the film, but it never gets boring. With its short running span of 81 minutes the movie cuts straight to the chaise, giving very little time for the audience to catch their breath. The flickering light has never been so unnerving, but the darkness is never too black to see what’s coming.

There were films similar to LIGHTS OUT, such as DARKNESS FALLS, which features a female monster who thrives on darkness, however it is Diana who makes LIGHTS OUT truly terrifying. She doesn’t talk much, but through her jerky motions you can feel her rage and her madness. She is a pure evil, a sort of an incarnation of a dirty family secret.

The characters are well fleshed out for the little time the movie allows for their development, in particular the relationship between Rebecca and her boyfriend Bret is so genuine you will be hoping they get a chance to be together!

Australian Teresa Palmer gives her Rebecca everything she’s got, creating someone tough on the outside, but also wounded and struggling. Her vulnerability is where her real strength comes from.  She is a perfect heroine to face off with monstrous Diana.

The final twenty or so minutes of the film is one big fight in the dark house, full of revelations and jump scares. While being  horror movie clichés each of these scares have a fresh twist. I could hear audience applauding to one clever way of a character escaping a certain death, and that tells you something.


LIGHTS OUT is a delight for a horror fan. It is by no means a perfect film, but just about a perfect movie experience that can turn into a successful franchise.

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