Sherita Movie Review: Lights Out

Lights Out


By Sherita McAdams

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how old, tough, or bold we become–there will always be a sliver in us all that is a little afraid of the dark. The unknown of what you can’t see, and what may not or may be waiting for you in your darkest moment.

The new film Lights Out, written and directed by big motion picture newcomer David F. Sandberg, and based on his 2014 2-minute breakout short film (which currently holds 3.1 million YouTube views), stirs up this formula.

Following the drama of a young boy named Martin (Gabriel Bateman); things immediately take a continued downturn in his life when his primary care is left in the hands of his extremely unstable mother, Sophie (Maria Bello). As situations only progress into the land of bizarre, his only help is that of his estranged older sister, Rebecca (Teresa Palmer). Having been out the picture for some time and dealing with issues of her own, immediately Rebecca has to step into bigger shoes of responsibility to save her brother and eventually her family as a unit from something sinister beyond imagination. I’ll just leave it at that.

The film, with its’ short running time of only an hour and 20 minutes delivers non-stop rounds from start to finish, setting the bar and never letting go from the flip of the first light switch. The jump scares, while predictable at times, still manages to have impact on your innermost childhood fears and what really lets this film stand off from a plethora of prior is the backstory. You genuinely feel for the family, in particular the children of Sophie as they try to understand her condition and help her in the process, an organic feeling many of us in particular who come from imperfect homes, can relate to.

The actors all hold their own in solid performances, Bello in her perfect portrayal of the “bat-shit crazy” matriarch, Bateman in the innocent bystander, and Palmer as the complex sibling with a heart. Special nods to actor Alexander DiPersia as well in his role as the unexpected boyfriend and definitely one of my favorite characters throughout the film.

Overall, Lights Out gets 4 out of 5 screams, despite not actually screaming in the theaters at all because 1) That’s rude, and 2) I watched entirely too many of the trailers leading up to the release of this. My advice: skip them and come in more pleasantly surprised.

Lights Out is PG-13 and currently in theaters everywhere nationwide.


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