Movie Reviews: Lights Out




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Gabriel Bateman and Teresa Palmer
     Warner Bros. Pictures (81 min.)
    A young woman fights to protect herself, save her little half-brother, and uncover a mystery about her family's shadowy past.
     Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Billy Burke, Maria Bello
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

Photos Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

One of the more authentically scary horror thrillers to haunt the screen in some time, “Lights Out” is a product of smart filmmaking coupled with an intriguing premise.  A scary movie that knows the imagination is the scariest place of all, it’s a film that plays on the simple concept of our fear of the dark and that’s the brilliance and fun of it.

Maria Bello, Teresa Palmer andGabriel Bateman

Starring Teresa Palmer (“Triple 9,” “Warm Bodies”), Gabriel Bateman (“Annabelle”), Billy Burke (the “Twilight” franchise) and Maria Bello (“Prisoners”), the film follows Palmer’s character, Rebecca, as she attempts to save her younger brother from suffering a similar frightening fate. Estranged from her mentally unstable mother Sophie (Bello), Rebecca has had an increasingly difficult and volatile relationship with her mom and lives alone in a downtown apartment. When she learns that her 10-year-old half-brother could be in danger from a malevolent entity that has a mysterious attachment to their mother, she returns to save him and to face her own fears.

A highly effective frightful flick, horror fans won't be disappointed with this film, which will have you pondering on where you've left your own trusty flashlight. The evil entity is a stranger their mother calls Diana and although she can sometimes be heard roaming the house, she’s never seen beyond a glimpse in the shadows and almost all of the action occurs in the dark.

“People have been afraid of the dark probably since the dawn of time,” says director David F. Sandberg who makes his feature film-directing debut. “It’s something even I feel in my bones. So, rather than deny that impulse, we’re saying, ‘You were right. You were right to be afraid, because there is something there.’ We took that fear and created a monster out of it.”

Maria Bello

Horror clichés are embraced and brilliantly re-applied in the chilling and well-performed supernatural offering, which is produced by James Wan (“The Conjuring”). There are well-drawn individuals audiences can relate to, empathize with and root for. The subconscious is absolute: stay out of the dark because that's where the danger is and as most of the film is shot in dark rooms, dimly lit shadowy rooms it heightens the horror.

A genuinely creepy horror movie “Lights Out” is scary and suspenseful without insulting our intelligence and brilliantly blends the supernatural with the realistic.

Memorable and atmospheric, this one’s a must see.

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