Lights Out, film review: “No game-changing revelation but it makes you jump”
- Credit: Archant
It’s predictable (though with the occasional inversion of audience expectations) and scares are carefully rationed out
The horror audience, which is devoted but prone to being faddy, seems to have largely eschewed gore in recent years for boo-made-you-jump thrills.
Something in the zeitgeist has told them that little children being petrified by ghostly figures springing out of the shadows of dysfunctional family homes, or teenage girls trying to outpace inescapable curses, is more use to them than narratives of torture and dismemberment.
Does that represent an outbreak of isolationist escapism or a facing up to stark reality?
Lights Out is no kind of game-changing revelation but it does all you can reasonably expect of one of these films – it makes you jump in ways that are not exactly the same as every other film of this type that you’ve seen.
The monster here is a demonic figure that can only appear in darkness, and disappears when the light is turned on. Doesn’t sound like much but Sandberg has a couple of killer scenes to hang it on; primarily people turning off the lights in offices and seeing a shadowy figure in the darkness, hastily switching the light back on again to find there is nothing there, and then repeating the process in disbelief until the monster is suddenly a lot closer.
The image comes from a short (less than three-minute) film Sandberg made in 2013 that was more of a black comedy.
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- 2 Revealed: Hackney, Islington and Newham are boroughs with most LTNs
- 3 Blue Badge exemption and positive results for Canonbury East LTN
- 4 Travel disruptions: Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Newham
- 5 Five appear in court charged with drugs offences after dawn raids
- 6 Disqualified driver jailed after hit-and-run involving Islington schoolgirl
- 7 'We've still not had Christmas cards': Royal Mail apologises as post backlog hits Islington
- 8 Holloway BHF pleads for volunteers to help it stay open
- 9 Knifeman was out on bail when he nearly killed father-of-three on school run
- 10 Ironmonger Row Baths have reopened for these activities
To flesh it out to feature length his scriptwriter Eric Heisserer has purloined elements from any number of films going back to the original version of The Ring.
It’s predictable (though with the occasional inversion of audience expectations) and scares are carefully rationed out over the 80-minute running time.
Rating: 3/5 stars