“Lights Out” Is a Tender Horror Film About Families Sticking Together

Lights Out features Kirsten Stewart Body Double (Teresa Palmer), Bam Margera (Alexander DiPersia) and the kid from Jurrasic Park (Gabriel Bateman) who oddly hasn’t aged at all in the last 23 years.

Lights Out is based on a short 2 minute horror film of the same name which is genuinely freaky. The director used his girlfriend as the main actor, and she makes an appearance in the cinema release. The short won Best Short and Best Director.

Lights Out builds on the classic fear of the dark, and what could be hiding in it. The cinema release doesn’t bother with a slow build and the film hits the ground running with zero build up to the “scary bits”. It’s a condensed film, and sacrifices build up in favour of quick thrills and jump scares.

The gimmick of this particular horror film is that the monster can literally not exist in the light, and as the film progresses director David Sandberg has a fun time adding in new creative elements that build on the gimmick. In one point in the film there are two quick successive light tricks that are pulled off by the protagonists that literally got the audience in the cinema laughing and clapping. I didn’t know that people clapped during horror movies, but the sheer joy of watching the goofy actors finding ways out of their situation in creative ways was really fun.

The monster itself is definitely a “paper bag on head” kind of girl. Great body despite the fingers, but with the classic witch face when you finally get a look at her. No wonder she hangs out in the dark all the time.

The film does give some weird explanation how the monster works. Apparently she’s an X-Man who wound up at a mental asylum. That’s about all you need to know really.

Lights-Out-Film

The movie doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, which is a nice way of saying I didn’t get bored and it ended so suddenly that I was actually surprised. It has a running time of 81 minutes, and is so tightly packed that there’s really no lull in the amount of time it takes Teresa Palmer to find a dark room to slowly creep through looking worried.

It has a few inconsistencies, for instance the monster can kill a grown ass man in a few seconds but can’t win a game of child tug of war with a skinny 20-something girl.

It’s a fine movie. Just fine. I had fun. I’m not sure whether you’re meant to have fun in a horror, but it happened anyway and I regret nothing.

I’ve never been on a DVD box cover for a quote yet so here goes nothing: “Visually stunning, Five Stars.”

Lights Out comes out on the 21st of July.

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Izak Flash
Entertainment writer and illustrator. He holds the conch, so he gets to speak. Send him abuse on twitter at @Izak_Flash