Two or three years ago, I showed the Lights Out short movie to my students. I wanted to show them how a simple idea could have a big impact. A few months ago I saw the first trailer for Lights Out the full movie and I was super excited. I took my daughter with me to see Lights Out and we both give it the Must See rating.
Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) is pulled back into her mother’s insanity when her younger brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman), reaches out to her for help. He is experiencing the same thing that once tested her sanity and now works to unlock the truth about her mother’s friend, Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey).
Director David F. Sandberg, who also directed and wrote the short, working with Eric Heisserer developed a solid story. It’s basic, but the characters in it are very relatable and feel real. From Bret (Alexander DiPersia) desire to be in a full time relationship with Rebecca to Paul (Billy Burke) looking to help his wife Sophie (Maria Bello), the film has characters that make sense. We learn that Rebecca experienced some of the crazy event that Martin is now. The way they react to the horrors that unfold at the will of Diana is believable. I loved the characters in this film and the “creature” is horrifying.
The reactions I saw from people during the trailer alone were the only ones I remember hearing people shout “Nope!” and scream in. That fear flows from beginning to end in this movie. The people who sat in the row ahead of me screamed so much and then thought the need to converse about the the film. Despite their inconsiderate behavior after showing up twenty minutes late to the film, I still managed to love this movie. It brought scares, characters, and really solid acting. Gabriel Bateman is an excellent child actor and really sold the fear.
I would love to see this become a franchise, but I also would be happy if this is a one shot. The story concludes nicely. It’s paced perfectly. There is enough story to satisfy that, but the scares come frequently and powerfully.