Lights Out Review

Lights Out is a 2016 supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg, starring Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, and Maria Bello.  A young woman, Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) struggles to protect her brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman) from a malevolent spirit connected to their mother’s past.


Positives:

  • Great performances
  • Good characters
  • Good use of practical and visual effects
  • Good, unique story
  • Great direction
  • Good writing
  • Great suspense
  • Diana is a good, memorable antagonist

Negatives:

  • Story can be clunky at times
  • Lackluster ending

Plot: Rebecca must unlock the terror behind her little brother’s experiences that once tested her sanity, bringing her face to face with an entity attached to their mother. The story is actually pretty original and for as dramatic as certain sequences are there a lot of exciting and thrilling elements as well. It is a pretty simple premise but manages to be entertaining. The ending could have been a bit better. (3 out of 5)

Characters: Features a great cast of likable characters.  Rebecca (Palmer) and Martin (Bateman) have a great sibling relationship.  Bret was a surprisingly likable character, and had great chemistry with Rebecca.  Thought he would be unnecessary but showed a lot of personality without taking away from Rebecca and Martin. Diana was clearly the scene stealer. Every sequence that she showed up felt very chilling. Despite her being somewhat of a flat character she was none the less entertaining. (4 out of 5)

Cast: Great performances by the main cast. Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, and Maria Bello are just great. (4 out of 5)

Visuals: Terrific use of CGI as well as practical and makeup effects which is highly commendable. The Diana creature design (the glowing yellow eyes,  elongated fingers,  lanky form, and dark silhouette) is actually pretty sweet which adds to her menacing presence. The used of the lighting as well as editing makes for some very compelling sequences in the film when utilizing Diana’s abilities. (4 out of 5)

Score: The score was highly entertaining and did a great job of helping maintain suspense and tension. Thanks to Benjamin Wallfisch for providing a great score. (4 out of 5)

Writing: The script is actually pretty decent. There isn’t an overabundance of jump-scares and the editing does a fantastic job of contributing to the suspenseful as well as horror based moments. Diana’s background and how the story was told could have been done better which is probably the only sequence in the film that felt lackluster.  Sandberg did a pretty good job with the directing. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Lights Out is a very entertaining movie. It does capture the stairs without making them feel cheesy. Despite wanted to issues with the script as well as the ending the film does have good performances and original story good direction and great characters. Lights Out gets 4 out of 5.

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