Lights Out

(2016)

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Title:
Lights Out
Release Date:
22nd July 2016
Runtime:
81 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
David F. Sandberg
Writers:
David F. Sandberg, Eric Heisserer
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

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.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 76%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 72%
IMDb Rating 7.0

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by brijohns 22nd July, 2016

Good, not Great

The characters are likable, the premise frightening, and the storytelling good enough to keep people entertained and scared for an hour and a half. My only real complaint about the movie is that it doesn't leave a lasting impression. Everything feels like it's missing a crucial ingredient that could have turned this from a good film into a great film. The characters don't feel fully fleshed out. Ya, some of their backstories are kind of told, but they feel rushed and forced in in some cases. The ghost woman is great, but she shows up too much in the film. By the time it's over, your used to seeing her and expect her to pop out in every scene like a jack-in-the-box. And probably the biggest issue is that the ghost shows up right from the get go. There's no build-up to her reveal, no real questions about whether she exists or not, she's just BAM right there. But in the end these are minor complaints. I definitely enjoyed the film a lot more than I expected and would recommend it to any horror movie lover. I just wish it had a bigger impact.

Reviewed by dlora_santana 21st July, 2016

Excellent horror movie!

I personally think this movie is one of the greatest horror movies ever! Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman's acting is very good, absolutely credible, almost like Rosa Byrne's performance in Insidious, which was flawless. The cinematography was good, dark scenes pretty clear, intense sound effects well achieved. If you go to the cinema with your childhood fears, you will really enjoy this movie. It's full of scares and if you put attention to them, they are the kind of scares that you really fear when you are a kid. I don't understand why people cannot leave their critics-attitude at home and simply enjoy this movie or any other movie. If they do it, you'll enjoy it a lot.

Reviewed by Jacob Zembower 19th July, 2016

A solid scare machine with an excellent finale.

84% Despite my enjoyment of the original short, I was not impressed with the trailers for LIGHTS OUT, which made it look like just another jump-scare laden, run-of-the- mill, exercise in mediocrity. To my surprise the pre-release buzz was overwhelmingly positive, and since I got chance to see it for free thanks to a screening pass, I had nothing to lose, and as it turns out Lights Out is one of the biggest surprises of the year. Is it still filled with jump scares? Absolutely, but these types of scares are not of the cheap variety. And what's most impressive is how debuting writer/director David F. Sandberg is able to repeat essentially the same scare over and over, but keeping each one fresh, exciting, and inventive. Save for many that have been spoiled in the advertising, it's the many more that haven't been shown that are the cream of the crop. Lights Out got me to scream out loud on more than one occasion, something The Conjuring 2 was unable to do. Ironically, Lights Out is produced by James Wan (director of The Conjuring franchise) and Sanberg outdoes him again and again, both in legit scares and intensity, a perfect amount of humor sprinkled throughout that isn't cringe inducing, and a visual style all his own that is at times flat out dazzling. Even if the film hadn't been as successful as it is, the technical aspects are faultless. Still, there are some flaws to be found. It's increasingly apparent that the frightening set pieces were at the forefront of importance when the script was being written, with the character and story depth taking a back seat. Though we do end up caring for these characters, it's mostly through their convincing performances rather than the writing itself. The origin story to the antagonist Diana feels rushed and a bit confused. We understand that something 'very bad happened' to her, and that there was some kind of accident. But unless I was zoning out, we don't get enough explanation as to what exactly happened and who she was, or why she turned out the way she did beyond the bare-minimum. The attempt at strained familial bonds and mental illness reminds one of The Babadook lite at times, but unfortunately Lights Out never reaches the level of that film's' thematic weight (save for a rather unforeseen turn at at end). Essentially, the story is nothing more than a clothesline to hang upon what the audience came for, the horror and thrills. These aspects certainly could have been a lot worse, and they don't necessarily drag the film too far down, but a second draft and more fleshing out would have been welcome. With that being said, Lights Out plays for a while as a solidly executed, entertaining, if not quite extraordinary horror for its first two thirds. Entertaining enough, but aside from the opening and a few scenes here and there, I was wondering why the film was being so hyped up (as of this writing it still holds a 100% score on RottenTomatoes with 13 reviews and counting). But the best is certainly saved for last. The final sequence is where the goods come and where the film raises itself up on onto another level. I'm telling you, it is absolutely RELENTLESS in it's escalating insanity, genuine suspense, thrills upon thrills upon thrills, and some great moments that had me both laughing and jolting in my chair. It's nothing short of exhilarating, and seeing it in a packed theater only adds to the fun. This finale is where the director finally goes full throttle and doesn't let up until the final shot. It makes a good film into a damned near-great one, especially for horror fans. The use of lighting is also tops, as the vicious monster can never appear in light, the different sources of light- from a lit candle, a fluorescent black light, head lights, flashlights, even gun shots- are all used ingeniously. The same goes for the darkness, as every time a light bulb flickers, or we are suddenly thrown into pitch black darkness, all one can do is hold their breath and grip their chair. As you know some bad news is about to go down. It really dives into that primal, childhood fear of the dark and may conjure up a few bad memories or two. I can't express it enough, the finale is worth the price of admission alone. Ultimately, while it may not be on the same level of my favorite horror films of the year (The Neon Demon, The Wailing, The Witch, to name a few.) Lights Out is pure popcorn munching horror fun. Ridiculously entertaining, gorgeously executed, and just a great time at the theater. Time will tell if it holds up on repeated viewings, but for now I definitely recommend every horror fan to give this one a watch opening weekend, preferably at night, in the most packed theater one can find. I eagerly await whatever David F. Sandberg does next.

Reviewed by Psy-Ko 14th July, 2016

See this if you want fun & scary

Just saw a screening of it. If you like horror I'd say go see it. It is a jump scare movie but there's some depth and story to it. Character development was great, actually get to care about them and want to see them make it out. Acting was pretty good. F/X were good. The only part that I didn't like was they did the explanation of the backstory by one character explaining it to another. I always hate when they do that, just seems lazy. The audience really got into it with a lot of people jumping and then a lot of giggles at themselves and others for jumping. Oh and in our screening the comedic relief of the big guy down front yelling "oh s**t" every time Diana jumps out. It reminded me of when I was a young teen and we'd get a whole group to go see the newest horror (F13,Halloween etc)You can't take it too seriously, just sit back and enjoy it. Overall I'd give it a 8/10 which is pretty good for a horror flick.

Reviewed by CSHaviland 13th July, 2016

Creepy and satisfying

Lights Out takes some queues from Japanese-styled ghost stories, so it will be attractive to that audience. It has a strong chill-factor but a somewhat average formula, and it could have used fewer back-story explanations to make it more mysterious, especially since those elements did not feel original. Based on chill factor alone, it ranks higher than Dark Water, The Forest, Paranormal Activity, The Others, The Babadook, and The Boy, and lower than The Ring, Ju-On / The Grudge, and other Japanese-styled ghost stories, as well as any horror James Wan himself directs. Comparing it to masterpieces like The Exorcist and Poltergeist has no value. I would say its chills rank somewhat evenly with The Woman in Black and It Follows, without being as original as the latter. The ghost itself is creepy enough, but the overall movie didn't have the creative twists that we enjoyed from movies like The Boy, The Others, The Sixth Sense, and 10 Cloverfield Lane. It also didn't have the storytelling chemistry of James Wan's own Insideous or The Conjuring movies. I am a fairly difficult person to frighten. I have been seeing horror movies at the theater since the 70's, and I am usually only interested in the ones that have a supernatural or fantastical element to them. So I am very critical of them, and the only ones I collect on disc are either fun (Tremors), scary (the Grudge), or both (An American Werewolf in London). I will collect this one. Ghost stories are done to death. It is very difficult to come out with anything scary that is original. I think Lights Out could have used the guided hand of a third-party master horror writer, mostly revising the back-story revelations and using the character relationships to build suspense and mystery surrounding what is going on. Then, perhaps working up to a punch line at the end so that suddenly the back- story rushes in on the audience in one moment, with one simple revelation. It is very difficult to think of how that can be done, but other movies have done it, and the payoff is huge. I think Lights Out tried to do that a little but got confusing in the attempt. But all-in-all it's a nice little scary movie with a smaller production value but a satisfying ghost.