Director: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Maria Bello, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Alicia Vela-Bailey
Runtime: 1 hr 21 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Horror)
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: http://www.lightsoutmovie.com
Opening Day: 18 August 2016
Synopsis: When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.
What we love about this 81 minute horror is how much it manages to tell with so little – a feat few horror filmmakers are able to achieve these days. Take a closer look and you see James Wan taking on the role of one of the supernatural movie’s producers. David S Sandberg helms the scare fest, and it is a well made popcorn flick that will stay with you long after the lights come on.
Based on Sandberg’s 2013 short film of the same name and featuring Lotta Losten, who starred in the short, the evil and scary character in the movie is a bloodthirsty supernatural being that lurks in the shadows. It preys upon a family, and a young woman must fight to protect herself, save her little half brother, and uncover a mystery about her family's shadowy past.
Terror comes at a fast and furious pace, and you are never really given a chance to breathe throughout. There is violence and there are disturbing images (the movie is rated NC16 by the regulators). The filmmakers know how to capture the viewers’ attention. There are only a few key locations, and thanks to some clever framing, you will be at the edge of your seat most of the time. Unlike other forgettable horror movies, there isn’t a lot of screaming and brainless running around a big, dark house. What you get instead is a tense and taut thriller that grabs you and doesn’t let go.
If you are afraid of the dark, this movie plays on that fear and makes you feel like you are going through an amusement park ride. There is lots of fun, twist, turns and of course, screams. The fun of watching horror movies in a dark theatre is being startled together as a cinema, and of course, those sudden screams and nervous giggles.
If you are looking for a quick, digestible time to be entertained in the cinema, this is a wonderful choice. What lurks in the darkness is not only something you fear, but something you yearn to be scared the s*** out of. The fun doesn’t wear out, and before you know it, the movie is over.
There are no familiar faces in this movie, but that isn’t the point here. There may be predictable scares, but you won’t feel cheated when the end credits start rolling. While it has its great moments, it still has some room for improvement if it were to be branded as a modern day horror movie.
But you can be assured that with the right ingredients (and the right mentor in the form of Wan), Sandberg’s future in making horror movies is bright, or in this case, gleefully dark.
(Fear the dark? Hold tight to your seats, as it will be a gleefully horrifying time with this entertaining horror flick!)
Review by John Li