When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, and Maria Bello
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Written by: Eric Heisserer, and David F. Sandberg
For those who might not know, “Lights Out” was originally a short film. The short film went viral on the internet, the right people saw it (James Wan), and then production began on the feature film version. Being a promoter of horror, it’s awesome to see so much success for a short film. Being a horror movie reviewer, the question is if the feature film can be as successful.
To start, the short film basically introduces audiences to the entity, and how it behaves when the lights go on and off. The feature film expands on this, and gives the entity and the people it haunts a story. The entity, Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey), has become attached to Sophie (Maria Bello), a long troubled mother of two. Her older daughter Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) has escaped her mother’s trouble and lives alone while her young son Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is still at home with Diana and his mother. Fearing for the safety of his mother and himself, he asks for help from his sister.
The story sets up nicely giving audiences characters to care about particularly Martin. It also has a decent backstory for Diana and her attachment to Sophie. However, there are a couple of things about the story that slows down the film. One is the investigation that Rebecca and her boyfriend Bret (Alexander DePersia) do after realizing that Diana is real. Another is the family arguments over things like Sophie needing help, and where Martin should live. There’s even arguments between Rebecca and Bret over what’s best for Martin.
All the slowness takes away any momentum that the scares build. Diana proves to be a very creepy character not only cause of the whole light trick, but because of her figure and movements. The film starts with the now popular scene from the trailer where a woman is trying to turn off the lights at work, but sees a figure in the distance. It’s a good scene even though it would have been nice if they dragged it out a little longer. She provides some other decent scares, including a great scene of her chasing Bret.
Taking a short film which amounts to a small scene in a feature film, and turning that into a full length movie can’t be easy. “Lights Out” gives it a good try by providing a good story, and characters worth rooting for. It definitely creates a creepy entity who gives the audience some decent scares. Unfortunately the pace is too slow while building the backstory for Diana, and with some of the character interactions. Also, the ending is disappointingly predictable. While it will probably have some box office success, I have to give this movie 2 pools of blood.