From producer James Wan, director of Insidious and The Conjuring, comes a film that will make you wish the sun never went down. We follow the story of Rebecca (Teresa Palmer), not too long after the death of her step-father (Billy Burke). Her mother (Maria Bello) has, for a long time, been a little bit... odd, to say the least. When things in her life get rough, she starts to talk to herself, or at least that's what appears to be going on. Her son, Martin (Gabriel Bateman), starts to see a mysterious woman appearing in their house, but only when all the lights are off, meaning their mum may not be talking to herself after all.
Everybody, in some way, shape or form, is afraid of the dark. Whether it's mild or severe, there's no point in denying it. In fact, I saw a post on Tumblr the other day that went "nobody is actually afraid of the dark. We're afraid we're not alone in the dark." This statement hit me hard. Why? Because it's true, and Lights Out is a film that very cleverly plays on that fear. No matter what time of the day it is, if you're in the dark, you're not safe, and right from the opening scene this is made very apparent. It's a short and to the point horror film, only 80 minutes in length, and every minute is useful to the film.
While the whole gimmick of the film does get a tad overused from time to time, there's no denying that it's something fresh. The 'antagonist' of the film (let's just go with that to avoid spoilers) is seen in almost every scene. It's not hidden, and while this is very effective and rather shocking early on, it does wear out after a while. When it remains a black, walking figure, it's horrifying, but when seen as its true self, it looks very generic. Don't get me wrong, it still creeped the hell out of me, but it's much more effective when hidden in the dark.
To sum up, Lights Out is clever, fresh and terrifying new horror movie from first time director, David F. Sandberg. The storytelling can be rather clunky, but the story itself is incredibly interesting, full of shockingly smart characters making very intelligent decisions. It's a fun and original film that you should definitely check out.