Did the lights go out on this one?


Genre – Horror

My Rating ***

Run Time – 1 hr 31 minutes

Certificate – PG13

Country – U.S.A.

Awards – 3 Wins & 9 Nominations

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Generally, American horrors are pretty cliché, unoriginal and ones to swipe over on your movie package. But someone recommended Lights Out and so I did just that and settled in with my popcorn on one leg and my girl on the other and gave it a go.

It cost around $4m to make so fairly low budget and did $15m back and so a sequel likely. That’s decent business in this busy Hollywood genre and its July releases probably cost it $10 million more in gross. Normally the better ones get the October Halloween release and heavily marketed. Maybe the studio saved the really bad horror stuff to release in October and let this one stand on its own. It’s not bad.


Teresa Palmer        …             Rebecca

Gabriel Bateman    …             Martin

Alexander DiPersia                …             Bret

Billy Burke              …             Paul

Maria Bello             …             Sophie

Alicia Vela-Bailey    …             Diana

Andi Osho              …             Emma

Lotta Losten           …             Esther

Amiah Miller           …             Young Rebecca

Ava Cantrell            …             Teen Diana

Emily Alyn Lind      …             Teen Sophie


A spooky textile factory with mannequins everywhere opens the movie as a female employee (Lotta Losten) encounters a strange troubling silhouette of a woman as she closes down for the night. She can see her when the lights are off but cannot see her when the lights are on. She warns her boss (Billy Burke) of the intrusion. After she leaves, Paul ignores the advice as he is too busy in his office to listen and meets a grizzly fete.

Later on we move to a school nurse’s office were a little kid called Martin (Gabriel Bateman) has been falling asleep in class a lot and is mother contacted. But he is afraid to go home to his troubled single parent and so his half-sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) shows up to take him home, the pair sharing the same mom: Sophie (Maria Bello).

Rebecca and her boyfriend, Bret (Alexander DiPersia, take the kid to Sophie’s house. Martin tells his-half sister that Sophie has been talking to a woman named “Diana”, sending chills down her spine as that name resonates in her life to. Rebecca tells Martin that mom, who suffered depression all of her adult life, also spoke to her as a kid and the person is imaginary. When Rebecca takes the kid home she quickly gets in an argument with Sophie when she realizes her mom is not taking her meds so keeps the kid with her and they return to Rebecca’s apartment,


The visit to moms was a bad idea as something has followed them to Rebecca’s apartment. In the middle of the night she sees the same gnarly silhouette in her room. When she turns on the lights the women disappears? In the morning she noticed the name Diana scratched into the wooden floor. Did she hallucinate or was it real? If she is real then she will be back and that stirs even more deep dark memories from her childhood that whatever this is it has to be dealt with now. This thing is not going to stop coming.



If you remember the extremely scary Dr Who episode with the angel statues where, if you take your eyes off them for an instant, they come alive and get closers to you then that’s roughly the idea here.  Our entity can’t enter lit areas or daylight but can turn off those lights. It’s quite a scary premise and the opening ten minutes of the movie really is quite creepy. Once we understand the foes menace it does begin to settle down into cliché as our attractive heroine gets to grip with the woman scorned, her jock boyfriend sacrificed at the altar of the #metoo.

It’s certainly above average in the gene and looks surprisingly good for its $4 million budget, the director David Sandberg trying to steer clear of CGI as much as possible to increase the realism of the threat. That tactic really works quite well, excellent use of light and shadow. This is his first feature after a long list of short films and a talent to watch.

This is an ideal couple’s film on the DVD or movie package for a night in and it will scare the kids if you want to shut them up. Nobody likes monsters lurking in their bedrooms. There is so much unoriginal dross in the genre it’s just a relief to have something well made, creepy and watchable. Not for small kids though as you will never get them off to sleep.

===RATINGS=== – 6.3/10.0 (96,346votes) – 77% critic’s approval – 57% critic’s approval



What do you think?


Written by Phillip Ellis

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