Inspired by the 2013 short film of the same name, “Lights Out” is a genuinely frightening and chilling horror movie that grips you from beginning to end.
After our rather disappointing view of James Wan’s second installment of The Conjuring we were rather skeptical of his newly produced movie, “Lights Out”. However, upon looking into the trailers and the insanely creepy short film that landed director David Sandberg this full-length production, I can’t deny that it looked rather spooky. And I can honestly say Sandberg did not disappoint with the final product.
Maria Bello plays Sophie, a mother suffering depression who has a strange attachment to a terrifying entity who has latched onto her since childhood. Initially driving her daughter Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) away, the spirit is back to torment her other child, Martin (Gabriel Bateman).
This is by far one of the better horror movies released over the past year. It doesn’t mess around with any silly tropes and gets you right into the horror from the get go. Sandberg doesn’t waste time going into unnecessary backstory of every character, something I think was a little overdone in Wan’s “The Conjuring 2”, and although the director does dive into the origin of a few of the characters in the movie, it fits perfectly with the narrative and plays into, if not adding to, the horror. This is probably the movie’s strongest point; it has almost perfect pacing that gives the audience a really satisfying beginning, middle and ending.
The movie of course plays on a fear that is almost universal among the audience: a fear of what lurks in the unknown; in the darkness. But he doesn’t just give us a bunch of jump scares every time a light is turned out. It’s a lot more engaging than that, with fast paced shots and genuinely scary moments. Sandberg is confident enough that he doesn’t need to rely on such gimmicks. This is demonstrated again by the fact that all of the characters react rationally to their situation and time isn’t wasted by pointless screaming and running around.
Lights Out is a scary movie, in every sense of the word. You should definitely go see it if you enjoy the occasional horror.
Director: David F. Sandberg
Run Time: 81 Minutes