Tony's Take

LIGHTS OUT review

Lights Out posterYou Were Right to Be Afraid of the Dark

Ever been scared of the dark?  Well, “Lights Out” will perfectly legitimize that old-childhood feeling of yours.  The film follows a depleted family, as the family’s stepdad has recently passed away under mysterious circumstances.  Since then, the daughter, Rebecca, has moved-out to a place of her own, and the mom has been raising their young son, Martin, by herself.  The mother, Sophie, has been in a state of deep depression since her husband’s passing, welcoming-in a demon from her past.  Constantly talking to another person, Martin soon recognizes there’s a problem and the only one who believes him is Rebecca; because she remembers her from her childhood after her father ran away.  A presence named “Diana” showed-up not long-after and plagued the family for a short period of time, which terrified Rebecca until she disappeared without a reason.  One thing she distinctly remembered, she can only be seen in the dark as she vanishes in the light.  With Sophie’s weak mental state, it’s up to Rebecca and Martin to save themselves and their mother from this evil spirit; all while investigating why it’s haunting their family in the first place.

Teresa Palmer stars as the eldest child of the family, Rebecca.  Gabriel Bateman plays the young son, Martin.  Alexander DiPersia plays Rebecca’s significant other, Bret.  Billy Burke has a brief role as the stepfather, Paul.  Maria Bello plays the depressed mother with a hidden past, Sophie.  Alicia Vela-Bailey plays the evil spirit, Diana.  Andi Osho plays a social worker named Emma.  Rolando Boyce and Maria Russell plays a pair of police officers, Officer Brian Andrews and Office Gomez.

“Lights Out” will remind you why you were afraid of the dark when you were younger and is filled with shocking twists and terrifying scares; leaving you thoroughly entertained!  Part of the reason the film works so well is due to its impressively-layered story.  “Lights Out” offers a detailed story, characters you care about, and plenty of mystery and intrigue; all while including a few scares and pulse-pounding moments.  A lot of people are scared of the dark for many different reasons, but “Lights Out” finds an original (well partly, it’s based off a short film) idea to give people a whole new reason to keep the lights on.  Relatively new director David F. Sandberg (also directed the short film) crafted “Lights Out” with so much precision and accuracy with various tracking shots and locales, all while taking risks throughout and the end product speaks for itself; I can’t wait to see how he handles the sequel to ‘Annabelle” next year!  Another thing I loved about “Lights Out” was how it never tried to be over-the-top and beyond believability, not to mention the film’s ending!  So may see it coming, but the end of the film is shocking!  “Lights Out” does however struggle a little bit to get going, but it keeps a decent pace afterwards during its 81-minute run time.  “Lights Out” is a breath of fresh air to the horror genre and it proves that you don’t have to have jump-after-jump to make it a good scary movie; and while it’s only produced by James Wan, it’s clear that he knew how good it was going to be beforehand!

“Lights Out” follows a family plagued by a dark spirit and they only have a short amount of time to figure-out why she’s haunting them and how to get rid of her before it’s too late.  The film features plenty of scares, an intricate story, and a shocking finale.  If you’re looking for a good scare this weekend, go see “Lights Out”!!

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LIGHTS OUT is rated PG-13 for terror throughout, violence including disturbing images, some thematic material and brief drug content, in theaters JULY 22ND! 

 

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