After the death of her step-father, rebellious young woman Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) steps in to look after her younger brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) from the erratic nature of their mother Sophie (Maria Bello). But Rebecca soon learns that it’s not Sophie they have to fear, but a dangerous and unstoppable spirit that is linked to her past. With nowhere to run Rebecca makes her stand against this dreaded ghost…..but will she last the night.
If you’re not afraid of the dark then you will be after watching Lights Out. Trust me, this is one scary film and is without a doubt one of the creepiest times I’ve ever had in a cinema. While you initially feel that the film has familiar trappings with other horror films all that disappears as the lights go out and you are introduced to the terrifying Diana. This hell spawn ghost will make your skin crawl, and her horrific presence will send shivers down your spine long after the credits have begun to roll.
Kudos must be given to debut director David Sandberg for his reserved direction, and old school horror skill. Sandberg plays on his audience’s fears and adopts a less is more approach by keeping Diana hidden from the audience, and utilising eerie sounds, and flickering lights to symbolise her presence which begins to really play on your mind. This type of filmmaking is so unexpected that you can never prepare yourself for the frights that await. Sandberg also has a good handle on the tempo of his film, and when the horror begins it doesn’t stop. This is one director who definitely succeeds in taking his audience on a terrifying ride.
A very impressive Teresa Palmer headlines the film as Rebecca, and she brings a natural skepticism that turns into terrifying acceptance and natural fear as she begins to understand just how real Diana is. Palmer is brilliantly paired with newcomer Gabriel Bateman as her younger brother Martin, who knows all too well about Diana’s presence. Alexander DiPersia goes from SoCal hunk to scaredy cat as Rebecca’s boyfriend Bret, and his performance will really resonate with audiences. Finally there’s Maria Bello who is straight out manic crazy as Rebecca and Martin’s mother Sophie, and whose unwillingness to accept the horrors around her raises the tension of the film even higher.
Mark my words when I say you will not sleep for a week after watching Lights Out. It’s that creepy and that good. Packed with original horror, a tight script, and a shocking ending, Lights Out is sure to become the new gold standard in suspenseful filmmaking. Watch it if you dare….
Image source: Roadshow Films