Thursday, August 4, 2016
Review: Lights Out (2016)
Lights Out follows the story of a malevolent spirit that only appears whenever someone turns the lights off and haunts a disturbed family that it has mysterious ties to.
Even though we've seen stories about malevolent ghosts and entities before, this one stands out because of its original concept and how it revolves a lot of humanistic drama. Even though it is rightfully marketed as a horror film, at the center of it all, it is a family drama and focuses greatly on the turbulations between the mother, played brilliantly by Maria Bello, and her daughter who is also played brilliantly by Teresa Palmer. The family dynamic between Bello and Palmer was pulled off very realistically as well as the bond between Palmer and Gabriel Martin, who plays her sibling.
Another thing I greatly appreciated is how it gave our main villain a very detailed backstory that made her even more terrifying than the beginning where we first see it. If it wasn't given any backstory whatsoever and didn't have a reason for terrorizing the main family, it would just be yet another malevolent spirit.
Lastly, just when you think you'll run into traditional tropes (i.e., kid sees ghost and family doesn't believe him, etc.) it'll trick you. There are hardly any cliches to be found here because there aren't much jump scares until the moment calls for it, the characters don't make dumb decisions, and while you're watching the movie, you're even constantly wondering how it'll end.
Overall, Lights Out is a rare amazing horror film that features a humanistic family drama under the guise of bone-chilling horror. It's extremely well acted, its story is inventive, and it's possible you may end up sleeping with the lights on by the time you go to sleep.