Movie Review: “Lights Out”


Rebekah Icenesse, Writer

Are you afraid of the dark? Have you ever wondered what kinds of creatures are lurking in the dark, just waiting for an innocent soul to come by so they can sink their teeth into its flesh and blood?

The movie Lights Out was originally a three minute short horror film directed by David F. Sandberg, an up and coming director and writer who is currently working on Annabelle 2. The short film gained such a massive and positive response that David decided to expand and make it into a feature film.

The 81 minute movie tells the story of a young boy who starts to experience the same paranormal events that his older sister once faced in her childhood. As they try to figure out the truth behind the strange creature that disappears when faced with light, they are not prepared for the hardcore terror that comes crashing into their once calm lives.

Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) and Martin (Gabriel Bateman) are half-siblings who do not have a very close relationship due to their mother Sophie’s (Maria Bello)  psychotic episodes. When Martin starts to lose sleep over the constant fear of the mysterious creature that hides in the darkness of their mother’s room, Rebecca takes him in and shows a side of responsibility and maturity. She is concerned about his well-being when he tells her about the creature that he sees. There is trouble that comes along when she realizes that she has seen the same creature before. Rebecca goes on a journey to discover who the creature is and what it wants with their family. What she finds is even more terrifying than the creature itself.

Spoiler Alert!! The creature, Diana, is an evil entity that once befriended Sophie at the mental institution that they were both staying in. She was thought to be evil and had the power to get inside people’s heads and corrupt their minds. She was very attached to Sophie, and though it was never actually confirmed in the movie, it was thought that she corrupted her mind, too.

When Diana was in a therapy session that was trying out a new technique, she died in the chair that she was strapped to. It seems that even though her body was not physically there, her spirit was, and it followed Sophie around and waited until she was at her most vulnerable point to make herself known. She has been wreaking havoc and causing problems up until the climax, which can be considered a dozy if you are really rooting for Sophie to break out of her psychotic issues.

Overall, the movie was pretty good. The actors did a good job of making the scenes and emotions believable, and I think the casting choices were great. Bateman did an excellent job in playing the scared and vulnerable Martin, and Palmer did a good job in playing the troubled Rebecca. Bello also did a fantastic job on playing the struggling, depressed mother. She made me want to smack her in the face a few times as the movie went on, but at the end, I was really rooting for her and felt a little sad when she came to her own demise.

The scare factor was also pretty decent. It is a horror movie, and it had that thrilling quality, but it was not overly scary. There were some scenes that could make you jump and close your eyes. I think the scariest thing in the whole movie was seeing Diana. We never get to see what she really looks like, because she’s always in the shadows, but her silhouette alone makes me shiver and hope that I never run into her when I turn my lights off.

I would recommend Lights Out because of the interesting story line. It’s extremely unique, the acting was good, and the overall creepy vibe of the movie was spot on. If I had to rate this film out of 10, I would give it a solid 8.5.