DVD Review: WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

Review: When The Lights Went Out / Cert: 15 / Director: Pat Holden / Screenplay: Pat Holden / Starring: Steven Waddington, Kate Ashfield, Tasha Connor, Gary Lewis / Release Date: January 7th 2013

Set in the early '70s, at the height of the power cuts, this British ghost story is based on a real-life haunting that took place in Pontefract.

Moving into their dream home, the Maynard family, Len (Waddington), Jenny (Ashfield) and daughter Sally (Connor), soon have more to worry about than the colour of the kitchen walls (“Avocado? Don't you mean green?”) when a malevolent spirit seems to want them out. At first Len tries to profit from the happenings, charging nosey locals a pound to tour the house, and it seems Sally has a bond with the entity. But when things begin to get more violent, they call in paranormal investigator Hilary Barnes (former Emmerdale star Tony Pitts) and even blackmail local priest Father Clifton (Lewis) into performing an exorcism – anything rather than move out and go back to the bottom of that council house waiting list.

Writer/director Holden apparently has connections to the original story (his aunt was friends with the real-life family) and does a marvellous job of recreating the look and feel of the 1970s, right down to the grim social club which is the mainstay of Pontefract nightlife. You can just sense him breathing a sigh of nostalgia at the Noel Edmonds-fronted episode of Top of the Pops seen on TV at one point.

Newcomers Tasha Connor and Hannah Clifford (as Lucy, Sally's only school friend) are brilliant, and outshine the majority of the adult cast. Which is not to say the latter are bad: Waddington and Ashfield are credible as a typical '70s couple, and the ever-reliable Jo Hartley (Inbred) is great as Lucy's over-protective mother. It's a shame, then, that the film wastes no time in getting to the hauntings when it could have built up more atmosphere and characterisation. The scares are handled really well early on, especially in a scene in which Jenny is decorating, and in the simple use of classic kid's toys – a Slinky creeping down the stairs and Buckeroo shedding its load. But as the film progresses the use of CGI gets in the way. By the end it is going all out for easy scares rather than taking a more subtle approach. The climactic exorcism scene comes across more comical than scary, but it's entertaining enough and should go down well with Paranormal Activity fans.

Extras: None


Suggested Articles:
Big old houses. On the one hand, great - impress your mates with all that space to spread themselv
Laura is the definitive popular girl, surrounded by grounded friends, a hunky surfer boyfriend and
Paths of Glory is a 1957 World War 1 drama based on a true story, and its release on blu-ray is a
Harking back both to anthology and calendar-related horrors of the past, Holidays sets a task for ea
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #1 eddie kelly 2013-01-03 11:22
If the story line about the priest isn't true it should not have been used.The producer should stick to the facts.If it is true then shame on him.As a Catholic I felt quite offended by this
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

WOLF CREEK - THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES 28 September 2016

DARLING 27 September 2016

FRIEND REQUEST 27 September 2016

PATHS OF GLORY (1957) 27 September 2016

THE EVIL IN US 27 September 2016

CONSUMPTION 27 September 2016

DARK MATTER SEASON 2 27 September 2016

MINISCULE: VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS 26 September 2016

HOLIDAYS 26 September 2016

WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING 26 September 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner