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When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged.

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Lights Out movie full length review - Keep the lights on

This is my review of Lights Out (spoiler free)


Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Alexander DiPersia

Plot: Rebecca (Palmer) a woman who left her home because of sick mother is stalked by a dark entity so she tries to save the day and her mother Sophie (Bello); however things aren't what they seem as this being only appears with the lights off. As she tries to discover what this being is her family is in constant danger but what will she do? Will she save the day or run out again?

Everyone's done it. Every director has done a horror which will make you scream then turn the lamp on with fear of something appearing in the shadows. Essentially that's what this horror is inspired by, David F. Sandberg's, feature length horror started its life as a viral Youtube short which had the same type of creature and the same terrifying aspect, so it's easy to say this is based on a short. The initial idea of this film is Lights out ghost appears, lights on its gone but it's done on such on such a gigantic scale much like the Babadook that is a little of the same as what this is, a terrifying creature from God knows nowhere and terrorizes a family just trying to get on with life. However this movie not only has a pretty good story to it but also delivers a plethora of scares for 80 memorable minutes. It's impressive that an original horror this short can be done so well. There is a lot that can be said for the shadow-dwelling creature calling itself Diana a lurking silhouette with glowing white eyes and Nosferatu claws with a punishing back-story to justify the malevolence.

Although influenced by J-horror and the slow-creep style of producer Australian horror maestro James Wan, Lights Out could be this years Babadook: there's a memorable monster, peek-a-boo scares, but, crucially, a spiky emotional turmoil that feeds the fear. However Sandberg's human touch also shows with the characters, they are flawed but they are lovable Teresa Palmer plays Rebecca a woman who abandoned her family home after her mother Sophie, (Bello) went crazy, that had a huge effect on Rebecca. The movie conveniently is very blasé when it comes to its theme it promotes mental illness and it shows that when you see something lurking around in the shadows you would go crazy. Not only does Sophie go crazy but the rest of her family are borderline insane, even Rebecca's, brother who spends his time with Sophie so he sees the terrifying that resides in their home with them. But this dysfunctional family copes with their problems however Diana makes them worse.

Another good thing that this film adopts is that the story never falls flat as the story goes and it will never fail to scare either. David Sandberg's debut feature is deeply impressive and delivers full blooded frights without even a pipette of gore. So this is a horror not for gore goers, not necessarily a bad thing because frights are the full blown mechanic of this directorial debut. Relying deeply on practical FX and ominous lighting design, Sandberg has a fiendish gift for ambushing audiences with jump scares out of the whazoo (there are at least nine jolts within the first 40 minutes) ? as she stripes from dark to light, Diana's attacks are like being subjected to a slow-motion strobe. All of his characters are battling internal demons but they're too: the fact you're rooting for them rather than cheering on the malevolent Diana makes the ordeal cut all the harder. But a good horror that will damage you internally you don't need hollow jump scares it also needs a terrifying demon and that is exactly what this fear-of-the-dark horror has done, it's added a creepy new demon that could be added to the ongoing list of horror demons that have scared audiences in the past.

Granted, some of the dread leaks out when things get silly in a frantic third act, when those jolts turn into full blown frights guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of you. And it does begin to turn a little bit predictable but also not a bad thing, besides the frantic third is nothing compared to the ending which is a little weird but you go with it because it has a sense that the ghost is just in Sophie's, head so she does something to shock you but it all adds to this well made horror that could even be counted as one the best ever horrors, and also one of the best films this year. In conclusion this terrifying horror will give you all your money's worth and then some you may even want to keep the light on when you sleep, because it will probably make you scared of the dark again. Definitely worth a watch.

VERDICT: A lean, mean scare-machine, and a surprise contender for horror of the year. A memorable monster and a plethora of scares what's not to like about Lights out, but if something does appear in the shadows then, for God's sake, buy a bedside lamp.

8/10 One of the best ever horrors.