Lights Out Review
Some horror movies don't feature complete logic or even character development. Even though some horror movies don't feature certain things that make other movies whole, sometimes they work because they still manage to scare the crap out of you. Some horror movies feel like going to a haunted house or going on a haunted house ride at an amusement park. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but its all cheap thrills. All meant to just be a fun time spent out. That's exactly what "Lights Out" feels like, cheap thrills all in good fun.
I pondered immensely whether or not "Lights Out" would work for me. I have written before how much the "boo" type scare doesn't work on me and I prefer other types of horror when I sit down with the genre. But there was something to the scares in the initial "Lights Out" trailers. There was something very spooky about the silhouette horror "Lights Out" offers. Have any of you ever felt like you are being watched from the corner of your eye? Then you quickly look over and nothing is there? Its happened to me before, and its an unsolved mystery for me. "Lights Out" taps into that horror of seeing something you can explain or even fathom. Seeing things you know aren't there, but somehow are there. Its a fun trick for the most part, but after awhile, not a very scary one.
As far as story goes, we get to know Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who lives in an apartment with her boyfriend Bret (Alexander DiPersia). She takes in her half-brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) after Rebecca's mother Sophie (Maria Bello) is checked into a hospital for a resurfaced mental illness and depression, which brings Martin bad insomnia. Soon, strange things begin happening when the family turns out the lights and it looks like a mysterious spirit is after Martin. Somehow this spirit is linked to Sophie and it may have killed Rebecca's father in a creepy scene that opens the movie.
Its pretty predictable fair once the movie is all said and done. But for the most part, the scary scenes are effective. For being scares of the "boo" kind, they work fairly for most of the movie. Yes, they do drag once the movie begins to reach its end, but I was surprised by how well it pulled off its scares for the majority of the movie. The character work feels better than usual, mostly because Teresa Palmer is a capable young actress and one of the best of her generation. I also have to give props to DiPersia. At first, you'll think he's the typical boyfriend in these types of movies, but DiPersia gives him real depth and the script doesn't let him down. You also see lots of kids acting the same way in these horror movies and Bateman does a good job finding the details. Maria Bello has been in the game so long that she floats on camera, ready for anything.
Will it go down as the best horror movie of all time? No way. Will it even be the best horror movie of the year? Probably not that either. But if you like the genre at all, you might want to give this a whirl. It maybe even extra scary if you wind up in an auditorium all by yourself. There is some effective work done in this. But I bet it would have even been more effective if they did more with the scares.
FINAL GRADE: B-