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Lights Out Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Tuesday, August 2, 2016 • Tamil ]
Lights Out Review
Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Billy Burke, Maria Bello
David F. Sandberg
Lawrence Grey, Eric Heisserer, James Wan
Benjamin Wallfisch

Some movies don’t rely much on heavy CGI or high tech gadgets to drive home their point of view, some rely more on the other aspect of film making like intelligence with what’s available at disposal, Lights Out falls into the latter category. The film's central stage of a mysterious, mean figure who appears only when the lights are out, and who disappears, physically as well as visibly, with the flip of a light switch, is enormously, very effective. Just because you know how the scare works - and the work it does, again and again, in this low-technology savvy yet artful feature debut by David F. Sandberg - that doesn't reduces the satisfyingly creepy impact of the trick. Those who are scared of the dark won't find much in the way of easy comfort watching “Lights Out.”

Directed by David Sandberg from an idea introduced in a previous short film of his and produced by James Wan (“The Conjuring,” “Insidious”), the horror takes a common fear and springs out a simple idea for full-fledged movie. That idea is introduced in the first few minutes when a woman walking through a warehouse at night thinks she sees something as the automatic lights switch off. The figure disappears when she turns the lights back on, so she thinks she's hallucinating — until that figure in the dark moves closer to her. A few minutes later, her boss Paul (Billy Burke) is killed by the mysterious ghost. We then meet the murdered man's stepdaughter, Teresa Palmer's Rebecca, who moved away from home when her mother Sophie (Maria Bello) began acting strangely after the death of her father. Rebecca's younger stepbrother (Gabriel Bateman) is now exhibiting similar behavior after the death of Paul. Much of Sophie's problems lie in her firmness that her dead childhood friend, Diana, whose skin condition kept her living in the dark, is still in their lives. The lesser you are to know, the less spoilers you get. There are a few things in the movie that are over-explained, background material we might be curious about is chipped in needlessly. Even with such short run time the history and flashback looks most likely a filler and looks more of a time puller to make the short story look larger in full.

“Lights Out” is less like other recent “haunted house” movies, and more closely tied to other horror films like the “Grudge” and “The Ring” that center around a shadowy figure with ties to the protagonists. Lights Out makes for a lean and mean scare-delivering machine, but is less effective as a supernatural horror story. It’s a promising directorial debut for Sandberg and has more ambition than the average low-budget horror, but falls just short at expanding the concept of Sandberg’s original Lights Out short film into a richly-layered larger piece of cinematic storytelling. Still, Lights Out shows that its director has a talent for devising spooky situations and/or scenarios, suggesting that with additional budget and tech at disposal, Sandberg could deliver a fully captivating horror movie.

Lights Out is not only a very scary, very effective horror film — on a deeper plane it is also an allegory about mental illness and how that condition affects the lives of all who come into contact with it. The story also illustrates that love is its most effective antidote. So see Lights Out even if you’re not a horror film fan. It’s not just a scary movie — it’s a film about human bonds and human nature.

For an average Indian fan, this movie should definitely give you the thrills for its short quick run and is sure to give those goosebumpy moments at times. The usual fear of switching off lights is sure to drive you nuts for a second, for that is the aftermath effect of the movie.

Verdict :  A neat spooky thriller

Rating: 3.00 / 5.0

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