Lights Out – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77% (Critics) / 74% (Audience)
Directed By: David F. Sandberg
Written By: Eric Heisserer
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello and Billy Burke
Studio: New Line Cinema
Synopsis: When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie. – (Source)


The Good:
I have to give director David Sandberg credit for delivering quite a few really cool jump scare moments in this movie. And the way the film took advantage of the shadows to make the evil Diana look even more creepy than she did when finally seen in the light was impressive too.
It was also nice to see Lotta Losten, the star of the original short film, given a small part in the feature.

The Bad:
While I thought the movie did the scary stuff pretty well but the rest of the film was a bit of a mess. The overarching storyline was weak, the characters were paper thin and no one behaved in any way that made any real sense. You could tell that the challenge of turning a 3 minute short film into a feature length film was a difficult one that the folks involved in making LIGHTS OUT were not equipped to meet.

The Ugly:
I was extra annoyed at the inconsistencies when it came to Diana’s powers. We are shown that she can shut off the power in an entire warehouse and a big ass 4 story house yet she can’t dim the screen on an iPhone? We are told that she has some sort of psychic control powers yet we only see her using that seemingly handy ability on one character. It was like her powers fluctuated based on what a scene called for in order to move the film along with no consideration given to what had been established up to that point.

Final Verdict: David Sandberg shows that he has the chops to pull off scary moments but sadly LIGHTS OUT ends up being a movie with a bunch of fun jump scare scenes but desperately lacking in terms of a story that makes sense or even entertains. It would be nice to see what he can do with a better script.

Grade: C+

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