Horror movies in the summer. Seems odd to me, but here we are. I Lights Out was based on a short film by the director of the feature. I think I remember seeing that once a few years ago. It gave me chills and the full feature fulfills the promise and then some. I warn there may be some crucial spoilers in this review so if you don’t want some aspects of the movie ruined, stop reading now and go see it! Then come back and read it.
Rebecca is a strong, independent woman who seems to have commitment issues, since she can’t seem to let her hot boyfriend even stay the night. There are issues here and we get a clearer picture when we meet her mother Sophie. Suffering from depression, Sophie seems to have a history of trouble keeping up with her meds and things just get worse when she experiences the loss of her husband. She seems to fall apart and fall upon an old coping device, much to the chagrin of her young son, Martin.
This is when things get creepy. A figure of darkness begins to appear in the house. Only existing in the darkness, this creature seems to grow stronger and will do absolutely anything to survive. Questions begin to arise when Rebecca and Martin discover that this shadow creature is real and even has a name. Diana. Rebecca puts on her detective cap and digs up the truth behind Diana but that’s only half the battle as every shadow becomes a threat.
This film is a perfect practice in suspense. The omni-present nature of Diana makes you anxious for every jump scare and sudden noise. The rules of her existence i.e. only in the dark, are held to nicely and never stretched beyond belief, which makes the creature even more startling. You know she’s there, just waiting to strike. The story of Rebecca and her relationship with her family and boyfriend is also well constructed and believable. It’s a horror movie that make you really care about the people and hate the monster. Trust me, there have been films in the past that fail to illicit any sympathy for the hero and little to no fear in the bad guy. A surprisingly short film, which perhaps works in its favor. It never bores and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I probably would have opted to release this one closer to Halloween, but maybe that’s when it’ll be out on video. So, as a person who is not a huge fan of horror films, I say that this one is very much worth your attention.
The Audience: I was expecting a typical horror movie audience. Loud and mouthy. Much to my delight, the audience tonight was fairly sedate. A few folks failed to mute their phones. At one point Siri could be heard. They only got a little annoying during the final act. I didn’t like that, but it didn’t ruin my experience. This was a Thursday night crowd. I wonder how it’ll be on Friday night.