Lights Out is like getting a nicely wrapped box of chocolates and discovering when you open it, all you have is empty wrappers. Its Freddy Kruger meets Darkness Falls with a touch of the Babadook thrown in and no wonder, the writer was the scribe of the remake of Nightmare On Elm Street.
Based on Sandberg’s 2 1/2 minute short film that went viral, producers decided to turn it into a feature film.
After a promising, pre-credits sequence that infuses a few scares, the film focuses on Martin (Bateman) who sees a “boogeyman” creature that lives in the shadows in his house his mother, Sophie (Bello) converses with.
Enter avante guard artist, Rebecca (Palmer) and her somewhat, boyfriend, Bret (DiPersia) where the creature known as Diana carves her name on Rebecca’s wooden floor adding to the mystery.
Coming to the aid of Martin, Rebecca discovers that Diana and her mother where at a mental hospital for assorted disorders as young girls. Rebecca for depression and Diana, (who was living in a basement and abandoned at 13 as her father mysteriously committed suicide.) for an abnormal skin disease that reacts to light who also has pyschic powers.
Treatment for Diana using bright spectrum lights causes her to spontaneously combust, but not before getting into Sophie’s head creating a psychic connection where Diana can manifest through her in the darkness creating havoc.
Why Diana waited so long to seek out her revenge and for what purpose mystifies the audience.
As the story progresses, its filled with cookie cutter, by-the-book, cheap scares that we’ve all seen before.
Welcome to the emperor’s new clothes as Sandberg’s impressive short and the feature film trailer are better than the movie itself.
Predictable in all accounts, this movie would have been
better off entitled, Darkness Falls 2.
LIGHTS OUT / DIRECTOR: DAVID F. SANDBERG / SCREENPLAY: ERIC HEISSERER / STARRING: TERESA PALMER, GABRIEL BATEMAN, MARIA BELLO, ALEXANDER DIPERSIA / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 19TH