HOLLYWOOD—I must say I am pleasantly surprised for the first time in a long time; we’ve seen a decent number of horror flicks invade theaters during the summer months. Usually, we’re lucky if we see 1-2 horror flicks during the summer, but in 2016, I can say we’ve seen at least 2-3 thrillers each month and there is more on the way for the month of August.
The latest outing, “Lights Out” will indeed send chills down the spine and leave those in the theaters clinging to the armrest and the person sitting next to them. I will point out what works so well for this movie is the fact that it knows precisely the importance of solid pacing in a horror flick. Things don’t move too slow, things don’t move to fast, and the most important element of all is present throughout the entire flick: suspense.
The thriller stars Teresa Palmer as Rebecca, who discovers her younger brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) has been having trouble sleeping because of a ghostly figure he sees whenever the lights go out. Why is this so important?
Well, it’s because Rebecca has also seen the same shadowy woman during the nighttime hours. The stage is set to hook the audience right away with an opening that sends utter chills down the spine before we dive into this supernatural chaos that seems to be linked to Martin and Rebecca’s mother Sophie (Maria Bello).
“Lights Out” which has strands of DNA courtesy of producer James Wan, this is the same guy responsible for scaring audiences with “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2” and “Saw.” He gets a wink of assistance from writer Eric Heisserer. Heisserer has dabbled with horror in the past, but this might be the strongest outing from the writer in my opinion, whose re-telling of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was a complete mess.
There are a ton of ‘gotcha’ moments in “Lights Out” that work because of the level of suspense built by director David Sandberg. What Sandberg does so well is utilize the placement of the camera to deliver those shots where the best scares catch the audience off guard. In horror, most flicks utilize the loud sounds or music to deliver a shiver, “Lights Out” utilizes both techniques. I honestly, can say this was the first time in years that I can recall a movie with such tension that left me feverish.
For those looking for a frightful experience, that delivers an element of originality that is not common nature in horror, “Lights Out” will be the perfect flick to make you seriously consider leaving those lights on when you get cozy in the bed for a good night sleep. Hmm, now that I think about it, you might have a bit of trouble sleeping after watching this movie.