My last article was apologetics for horror fans, a community I am proudly a part of. I thought with the time of the year we are in that I should write a few horror reviews for the movies that I saw this year. I want to break my reviews down to three key things: the atmosphere, the relatability, and the villain. The first film I am going to review is this year's "Lights Out."
Lights Out is a film directed by David F. Sandberg which stars Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, and Maria Bello. It is the story of a family being terrorized by something that can only appear in places that have no light. The interesting thing about this movie was it was actually a short film that got enough internet buzz to be stretched into a feature length movie.
Two words come to mind when I think of the atmosphere for the movie Lights Out, depressing and dreadful. There are more muted colors in every scene, the sets looks old and unkempt. The atmosphere is also set by the characters. As the movie progresses you see them unnerved more and more, becoming as unkempt as the home itself. The use of light and its absence plays a huge part in setting the atmosphere which transitions into my next segment; relatability.
"Lights out" brings one of the most common fears most people have and amplifies to a breaking point. In the movie you will find yourself fixated on where light is and isn’t in every single scene. Why? Well, the thought of the light being the only thing that can save you is something we’ve always foolishly thought whenever we were terrified. If only I can get to the light, right? In this movie they create tension based on that premise alone.
Without getting into any spoiler territory I will just say that they villain in this movie is interesting. The premise around the thing is amazing but the actual backstory leaves a lot to be desired. There are some interesting ideas that come out of the backstory but there’s a lot of stuff left unexplained and we are supposed to accept it. The rules for a villain is also very inconsistent throughout the film. Honestly, you can get over those flaws because the premise and atmosphere are handled so brilliantly.
Final thoughts and score:
Overall I really enjoyed Lights Out. It is a film with a small feel but delivers heavy on tension and atmosphere. The use and non-use of light drew me in every single and I really felt the acting was great. This movie could have failed seeing as it is a very simple idea but the director was able to tell a wonderful story here.
Overall I give Lights Out 3.5/5 Scythes