Rebecca thought she had left her childhood fears behind after leaving home for good. When her stepfather dies mysteriously and her young brother Martin starts to see terrible things in the dark, she realizes there is more going on than just a child’s nightmares. Her mother Sophie has a history of mental illness and it seems she made a friend while hospitalized who is reaching out from the grave in an attempt to control their lives. All is well and safe during the day but when the lights go out at night, an evil force comes out to exact deadly punishment.
2016, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 21 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello
Directed by David F. Sandberg
It seems that most modern-day horror flicks develop their scarier elements in post-production. Lights Out is a happy exception to that norm. Rather than relying on shaky-cam effects, CGI, and gratuitous gore and violence to tell an often-weak and contrived story, this film is masterfully shot using practical effects, creative lighting and features solid performances by all the principal actors. Director David F. Sandberg even chooses a natural color palette without annoying grain or other textures like many of today’s highly-stylized and “found-footage” titles.
It’s just a fun hour-and-twenty-minutes of suspense and boo-moments with an engaging plot. The end is satisfying and doesn’t leave any room for sequels, which just wouldn’t make sense here. It’s a great movie to watch in the dark and thanks to the minimal use of violence, you can enjoy it with your family. Some scenes might be too intense for young kids but there is no objectionable material here. Gore fans can get their fix every Sunday night on The Walking Dead. Those who’d rather just enjoy a classic horror flick will want to add Lights Out to their library.
For a movie with a budget of less than $5 million, the image quality is mighty impressive. Natural, vivid color and a high degree of clarity are present throughout. Dark scenes remain rich in shadow detail and lots of bright highlights pierce the blackness which prevents the image from becoming murky and flat. It’s rare to see a film so light on CGI look this good.
Audio is masterfully mixed making great use of the surround channels and occasionally, the sub. In a few scenes, effects are coming solely from behind the viewer which really made me turn my head. It truly enhances the suspense and intensity of the on-screen action.
The only bonus features are 14 minutes of deleted scenes including a nine-minute alternate ending. You also get trailers for other Warner Brothers films.