Lights Out (2016)

Boy, what a scare that was!

A supernatural horror movie, Lights Out is an out of the blue surprise hit by David F. Sandberg as his major directorial debut.

I saw the trailer (which was also quite impressive) during the previews when I went to watch the strictly average Conjuring 2. So with only a trailer in mind, I went to the movies without much expectation. And by the end of one and a half hour of cinema, I was blown away.

The Scare

Getting straight to the point, Lights Out is one hell of a ride. From start till end, the movie gives some pretty strong chills without compromising much with the story. The movie also doesn’t spend much time explaining itself like in some other horror movies, take for example Conjuring 2 or The Quiet Ones, and instead takes the audience right at the center of the action. And other than a few discrepancies in the plot and logic, the story is pretty solid.

From left, Martin, played by Gabriel Bateman, Teressa Palmer as Rebecca and Alexander DiPersia as Bret

To be honest, I don’t remember being this scared in any other movie. Some of the scariest that come to mind are The Grudge 2, The Conjuring, The Shrine (only the reveal part involving the statue. That is the single event from that film that I remember so vividly) and maybe Oculus(?) I don’t know. But what I know for sure is that this movie really does what it wants.

The Ending

There are a few points that are very critical for movies in this genre, on which most of the impact relies. Mainly the story and in it, the scare sequences, the number of repetitions and variations, and the ending to the story. In a movie where the audience (and the characters) spend most of their time figuring out what is actually going on, the ending has a lot of weight to the story. Whether the entire event is shrugged off as projections of a mental disorder or whether the entire charade gets proved as a real phenomenon, the finality of the whole event is what’s important. Lights Out came out with a strong opening and left with a bang, both literally and figuratively.


Martin, as he looks for his sister

Horror movies generally cast not-so-famous persons because the entire experience could be ruined if we could project a different personality on them. The characters have to feel fresh, and real. The same goes for the acting. Lights Out has a small cast, all of whom gave decent performances. The screams never felt overexaggerated or artificial and felt utterly real (like I was screaming inside my head at the same time) I never got a chance to lean back as the movie went on.

Teresa Palmer, who as the maximum screen time, delivered strong here. Movies like these rely much on the acting and the genuineness of the atmosphere, and most of the primary cast, including the little Gabriel Bateman and Maria Bello, performed well.

One thing I liked, in particular, was the short feature of Lotta Losten from the viral short of the same name from which the movie was originally inspired. 

There’s not much to say other than that David F. Sandberg and his whole team did an incredible job with Lights Out.

This is a fresh new entry in the ever growing list of horror flicks and also holds its place as one of the few which really managed to give an experience worth remembering (or forgetting?) Full of chills and packed with a decent story with some strong acting performances overall, Lights Out is horror flick that you would not want to miss.


Submitted to the Daily Post prompt Admire & Praise

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