Lights Out Review – A Mind Bending, Scary Good, Shocker

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Lights Out, from Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Studios, brings to the screen a fantasy horror flick that is everything an ultra-suspenseful, mind bending, psychological fright flick should be and then some.

Directed and co-written by David F. Sandberg, Lights Out stars Maria Bello, Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Lotta Losten and Alicia Vela-Bailey as Diana. Lights Out was written for the screen by Eric Heisserer.

Lights Out opens with Paul, played by Billy Burke, SKYPE chatting with his son, Martin, played by Gabriel Bateman who is explaining his Mom, Sophie, played by Maria Bello, is sick again, she is talking to herself and he doesn’t know what to do.

While Paul is having this conversation, Esther, played by Lotta Losten, his assistant is completing inventory and closing up the stock room. The warehouse has super sensitive motion sensor lighting lining the hallway so three seconds of no movement, step outside of the radius and they go off and the lights go out, leaving only deep darkness. A simple wave of the hand and there is light.

As Esther is finishing up the paperwork, the lights go out and a dark human shadow appears to be kneeling on the floor, which she doesn’t see. She walks to the stock room and turns out the lights and the figure appears. She sees it, flicks on the light, it disappears, shuts off the light, it appears.

Scared, she tells Paul to be careful she saw something. Without dismissing her he dismissed the spooky shadow she believes she sees. He walks through the same hallway and the lights, with a three second timer, are on and off so fast, he sees the shadow and as a sensible man runs down the hallway to the light and his calf is slashed by the presence.

Trying to fight against what could be a hallucination, for rational Paul, are the choices until the door begins to shake with the force of a dozen men, something unknown and undefinable bursts through the barrier and as the scene fades we see him killed, bloodied, slashed in the middle of the hallway.

We meet Martin again, a year later, as he is still listening as his mother speaks with Diana, played by Alicia Vela-Bailey. What he sees, and what his mother sees are two different things. Diana is scary, an undefinable manifestation of evil, she controls Sophie.

Martin is off to school and his fear has made it impossible to sleep which has caused him to sleep in his classes. The school nurse tries to call and can’t reach anyone so as a last ditch effort they call Rebecca, played by Teresa Palmer, his half-sister.

She shows up with her boyfriend, Bret, played by Alexander DiPersia and after a brief encounter with Child Protective Services the trio heads over to Sophie’s house. The bizarre behavior, Paul’s death, the talking to shadows, the manic mood swings have to be kept under control.

Rebecca has her own history with her mother. Sophie, as we find out, has childhood trauma which she never fully explained to anyone. She met Diana at a mental facility where she lived while her parents sought help for her manic depression. Patients, of all stages of mental illnesses were integrated in the general population. The deeply disturbed Diana, who had witnessed her father’s suicide, began to dominate and control the unsuspecting, scared, lonely Sophie.

Unsure of what to do, Rebecca keeps Martin at her apartment so he can get some rest, figuring on a good night’s sleep the solution will be clearer. 

I want to say it is at this point that Lights Out turns into a fast moving, non-stop, fear thriller which is true. So my level of fright film tolerance is low so for me it was deeply disturbing movie.

There are many elements that aren’t discussed including the mental illness experiments carried out on patients of all ages in the 1960’s. Of course, how depression does control and does allow for darkness to manifest itself in images and the controlling darkness and the inability to rise above without the meds. Our character, Sophie, is on psych meds and admits to the need. The manic mood swings are also portrayed.

With all that said, Lights Out is authentically scary, a frightening film with heightened fear and that is just the first few minutes. The manifestation, in the first three minutes is like nothing seen before and it is frightful. It pops out of the gate and hits the ground running. There is just enough calm between the beginning scenes to catch your breath.

After Lights Out moves to the conclusion and finale, the scenes become haunted house terrifying, springing pop-ups around each corner. Even knowing it is a movie and meeting the talent during the pre-release party held at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, it is still a shocking, nail-biting, heightened mind bending psychological thriller.

Lights Out is meant to be experienced. See this film, even if your fright level is low. It is scary good.

Lights Out opens July 22, 2016. Be prepared. 

Haute Tease

  • The William Blake Gallery San Francisco Presents: William Blake in Color

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The William Blake Gallery presents William Blake In Color, a selection of plates from the Illuminated Books of William Blake (1951 - 1987) by the Trianon Press for the William Blake Trust. Exhibition Dates: April 22 - July 28, 2017.

  • Submission Review – Engaging, Captures The Intensity of The Gen X Pursuit

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Submission, from Mighty Engine and Great Point Media, presents the story of angst, desire and hope as the world of two writers collide at a small northeastern college, where life is routine, dull, mundane and full of stoic academics.

  • The Favourite – A Devilishly Dark Comedic Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Favourite, from 20th Century Fox, presents the story of 18th Century England, when war and excess raged, and ambitions from the women left to advise and serve the Queen drove them to scandalous and naughty ways.

  • The Cheesecake Bible Second Edition Review - A Revelation of Heavenly Treats (Recipes)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Cheesecake Bible Second Edition, from Robert Rose Publishing and award winning Master Chef and baker, George Geary, updates the wildly successful first edition which instantly became a best seller, adding 300 mouthwatering, decadent, delicious, rapturous, recipes.

  • HYDROS Bottle - One World; One Bottle; One Purpose

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For many world citizens clean, refreshing dirnking water is an impossibility. Hydros Bottle, an inventive fast acting, reusable water bottle, wants to change that fact one bottle at a time and in the process assist in elminiating the impact of 1.5 billons tons of plastic waste.

  • Bob Iger Open to Re-Upping at Walt Disney

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bob Iger, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, let the proverbial cat out of the bag explaining in ever so veiled language his strategic intent to retain his current position for at least two more years.

  • Beltway Insider: Ebola; Race; Immigration; Russia/Ukraine; ISIS; Cuba; Malaysian Air Top 2014 News

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The fast moving, tumultuous, volatile and ever changing global dynamics create a combustible stream of shocking, brutal and graphic news. The difficulty was determining what constitutes the most challenging and how 2014 will be remembered.

  • Science News:The 25 Biggest Earthquakes Ever Recorded

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Contrary to popular belief, floods and droughts kill more Americans than hurricanes or earthquakes. Globally, however, earthquakes comprise some of the deadliest natural disasters in history.  

  • Business News: Michael Winkler New President and CEO Of Bentley Motors Inc.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bentley Motors today announced that Michael Winkler will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors Inc., the regional office for Bentley Motors in the Americas, with effect from 1st April 2015. He succeeds Christophe Georges, who was recently appointed Director of Product and Marketing for Bentley's global organization.  

  • New Year’s Eve in New Orleans - From Bourbon Street to Midnight Fireworks Ten Must's

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Big Easy is not just the most happening place during February’s Mardi Gras season, New Orleans is a hot spot year round and the perfect alternative destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year.

  • La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Scottsdale Review - Time Honored Traditions From the Father of Mexican Cuisine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    La Hacienda Restaurant by Richard Sandoval, the signature restaurant at The Fairmont Scottsdale Arizona Princess Resort, where modern interpretations of classic Mexican cuisine reigns supreme is just one of the reasons many venture to this revered resort.

  • Money News: Global Markets Struggle; Top Eight Close Down; Nikkei, Mexico Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average,in response to the poor showing from January’s Bureau of Labor Statistic’s  jobs report, as well as eight of the top ten world markets, unable to rally, sustained heavy losses as investor confidence globally continued to fall.

  • Central Italy Hit By 6.2 Earthquake; Kills 39; At least 10 Children Among the Dead

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A powerful 6.2 earthquake struck the central Italian town of Amatrice, Wednesday, killing at least 39, and leaving thousands buried under the debris of collapsed buildings and rubble as first responders race against the clock to save residents.

  • All Saints, Sister Sledge, and Phil Rudd (AC/DC) to Headline SpringFest, Scotland's Newest Music Festival

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Edinburgh is set to welcome one of the most exciting music festivals in Scotland for 2017. SpringFest, an indoor festival with four stages, ten zones, and numerous covered spaces, takes place on the bank holiday weekend of 27th and 28th May at the Corn Exchange. 

  • LA Arts: Morrison Hotel Gallery Heats Up Jazz Appreciation Month with Jazz: The Birth of Cool Exhibition

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From the intense soul of Miles Davis to the effortless charm of Sarah Vaughan, Morrison Hotel Gallery is pleased to showcase the luminaries of jazz music with Jazz: The Birth of Cool, an invitation-only exhibition opening Thursday, April 25th