Lights Out

A movie review

Lights out is a supernatural horror movie about a woman who is haunted by a supernatural entity that has tied itself to her and will hurt anyone who tries to do anything to break that bond. It is based on a short horror film of the same name made in 2013 by David Sandberg and Lotta Losten.

In my opinion, the short is in many ways more superior to the feature film as it builds dread and we are left uncertain as to the final fate of the woman being haunted (I’m referring to the short — just to avoid confusion).

Horror according to Wikipedia is defined a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience’s primal fears. From this definition, what I take home is the fact that at the end of a horror film or while watching same, I am supposed to examine my reality and wonder if such a thing as just happened onscreen is possible.

This movie didn’t do that for me.

Sometimes I wonder if I have been so inundated by really good horror films that when I see something less evoking, I am not blown away. I saw the trailer for this film back in August when it played before Suicide Squad and I thought I would be in for a treat — the trailer was pretty scary and that gave me hope. What we have here however is just another usual horror tale that while well done and well shot, isn’t anything new.

The first issue I thought I would have with the movie was something that occurred with the first ten minutes. Turns out that in retrospect, that wasn’t much of an issue. I will try not to go into spoiler territory but suffice to say that I didn’t feel the movie built on the tension it could have and as opposed to having an entity that scares the living daylight out of you, we instead have a child like entity who acts more like a spoiled possessive child than a fearful force to be reckoned with.

I’m sure a lot of persons found it and will find it scary and maybe a few years ago I might have, but today all I’m reminded of is how much more superior a movie like the first Paranormal Activity movie is to this.

Maybe I’m nitpicking here being that the director is a first time director and is still learning the trade. Maybe I just expected more because James Wan was involved. Either way, for a run-time of about an hour twenty minutes, it moves along quite well, is well shot and has the usual jump scares that will keep a casual horror film fan happy.

Final Score: 6/10