Movie Review: “Lights Out”

18 June, 2018

Note: As with every review I write, if you click through my links like this one (Lights Out) to buy or rent the movie, Amazon pays me a cut, per their Affiliate Marketing program. Thanks!

A Decent, not Great, Horror Movie

For those who celebrated, I hope you had a great Father’s Day. I did.

This review is coming atrociously late, as I watched this movie back in early May. But, better late than never. It is, as my title suggests, a decent, but not great movie. It has it’s scary moments, pretty good acting overal, some cleverness, but…not enough of any of those things. The backstory felt cliche and uninteresting. The movie is largely a festival of horror tropes.

The feature film fails to properly expand on or live up to the short film that spawned it. Maybe there wasn’t enough potential in that short film to begin with.

So, it’s not bad. I basically liked it. But there are better horror movies to check out.

Premise

First, watch the 2013 short film that led to the 2016 Hollywood movie:

Great, right?! It’s simple. It reminds us of the simple unease we can get if we let our imagination wander as we turn the lights off, getting ready for bed. The cinematography helps the suspense.

Now watch the trailer for the 2016 movie:

Yeah…maybe it’s good?

I ended up watching it on a whim.

Alright. Here’s what the movie’s about: there are these half-siblings, the younger of whom lives with their mom, who suffers from depression. She also suffers from supernatural issues, as there’s a shadowy woman named “Diana” who keeps appearing and freaking out her son. Diana only appears in the dark, she can’t enter areas that are lit above the level of approximately “very dim.”

The family has to figure out who/what Diana is and what’s going on and how to stop her and what’s up with mom. The backstory of all that is “okay.” Most of what happens with the story is “okay:” it’s mostly predictable, but, it’s got some suspense, a bit.

Acting

It’s all fine. Pretty good. Not amazing.

Music

Typical well-executed horror movie music. But definitely typical. It makes scenes scarier.

Diana

She’s scary at first and then mostly less scary every time you see her again. The movie overexplains her, and that makes her a lot less interesting.

Overall

It’s like 6/10. Really not a great movie, but not awful. Probably a great example of a paint by numbers horror movie. It explores themes of familial depression pretty well.

 

I’m really not in much of a mood for writing this anymore. I’m gonna walk down the street to a bar and drink beer now.

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