Lights Out is as short, sweet, and to the point a modern horror film could be. Director David F. Sandberg wastes no time focusing on petty plot threads audiences don’t care about, and gets right to the good stuff.
Based on a 2013 short film by the same name, this clever flick centers on a little boy named Martin (Gabriel Bateman), whose mother (Maria Bello) is on the brink of sanity. At night, Martin is stalked by a silhouetted entity that can only move about and exist in the dark. He believes that this supernatural being is somehow related to his mother’s mysterious past, mentally and physically tormenting her. Therefore, Martin enlists in the help of his distant sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer), whose experienced similar issues with her mother. Together, they must work to rid of this entity and save their suffering mother.
Lights Out is clever, unique, and has a lot of freaky imagery that modern horror fans will surely love. The idea of an entity that can only kill you in the dark is fascinating, and it’s good to see it utilized well here. The film has its lulls and moments of predictability, but for the most part remains an interesting movie.
The one downside to the film is that it was made for mass appeal, so it contains a lot of the usual tropes that get on horror movie fan’s nerves. I especially dislike the police officers who never listen to those “stupid teenagers”, as that plot point has long since been overdone.
The end of the film has a nice resolve that, while conventional, was still pretty satisfying to see. It didn’t have that last ditch, desperate attempt to scare the audience unexpectedly, like many horror films do. Lights Out respected its audience enough, and was confident enough, to give an ending that felt fulfilling to viewer.
The Verdict: B+