We're out of La Croix!
Based on the under-three-minute short film by director David F. Sandberg (now helming Annabelle 2), Lights Out is pretty effective at making people who know better afraid of the dark again.
When the people in this world turn off the lights, they see a primitive-looking figure hunched in the darkness. Everyone from television MVP Billy Burke to Teresa Palmer to an Edgar Ramirez lookalike is terrorized by this figure they learn to be Diana, an old friend of Maria Bello’s character. Bello stars as Sophie, whose daughter and son (Palmer and Gabriel Bateman) are jealous of Diana’s main targets.
The movie would have benefited from a less-spoiler-filled trailer. From viewing just the first preview, one goes into the movie knowing Diana and Sophie’s backstory. Fortunately, foreknowledge does not make a darkness-fueled entity any less terrifying. The added horror of a young child unable to count on its mother for protection amps up the tension.
Lights Out is riddled with plot holes, but none of them keep the narrative from reaching its destination. In a year that has given us some fantastic independent horror, Lights Out proves it is not yet time to write off wide studio releases, especially ones that feel like lost gems from the late ’80s/early ’90s.