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Lights Out

6/10
Horror . Thriller
 

When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged.

 
Actors: Teresa Palmer , Maria Bello , Gabriel Bateman , Alexander DiPersia , Alicia Vela-Bailey , Billy Burke , Andi Osho , Maria Russell , Rolando Boyce , Lotta Losten
Directors: David F. Sandberg
Country: USA
Release: 2016-07-21
More Info:
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    For a movie that relies so heavily on a single, not especially groundbreaking visual effect — now you see the bogeyman, now you don’t — Lights Out is crazy scary.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Jordan Ruimy

    The difference between Lights Out and any other mainstream horror movie is that it actually uses the dark as the center of its plot, organically drawing out the majority of its jump scares in the process.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Edward Douglas

    While the central visual of the figure in the dark goes a long way to provide the essential scares, the success of the film is just as much about what the filmmakers do to develop the characters that the audience cares about.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    A well-shot, gore-free psychological thriller about our elemental fear of darkness, Lights Out has a good deal in common with "The Babadook." While it can't touch Jennifer Kent's masterpiece, it does mark the arrival of a major new talent.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Brad Wheeler

    Best of all, it’s tight at 81 minutes, which means a 7 p.m. screening gets you out of the theatre while it’s still light out, thank God.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Bill Graham

    Bolstered by the mythology it builds and scares that rarely feel cheap, it shows even wide-release horror doesn’t have to be a groan-inducing slog — and you’ll definitely think twice about turning the lights out.

    The Film Stage Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Lights Out presents actual characters that are interesting, that have rough edges, that act like real people, not victims in waiting.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Palmer and Bello really do seem like world-weary, spook-addled daughter and mother, and they play the stakes just so, favoring neither blase understatement nor yellow-highlighter melodrama. They're strong enough to take your mind off some lapses in narrative judgment.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Spackling over any copycat cracks with strong acting and fleet editing, Lights Out delivers minimalist frights in old-school ways.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Bello gives a tremulous wacko-mom performance from which she has eliminated every whisper of camp. She’s both sympathetic and infuriating, and her scenes with her daughter hint at a more painful, complicated emotional history than the movie has time to explore, though it’s nice that it bothers to explore it at all.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    The scares here are in the execution, aided by the acting. Bello is, like always, terrific, adding layers to what seems at first like the stereotypical mentally-ill movie character. She's fighting for something. Palmer, too, adds grit to her would-be iconoclast.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • April Wolfe

    When Sandberg isn’t spinning his wheels in the why, he’s capable of doling out a steady diet of scares.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Christian Holub

    This movie purposely inspires viewers to think about serious topics, and then disregards the consequences of doing so, undermining the whole enterprise. The final physical sensation is not terror or relief, but disgust.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Predictable stuff, energized by some spiffy scare effects from cinematographer Marc Spicer who works wonders with underlighting. But the on/off tricks would grow tiring without actors who perform well beyond the call of fright-house duty.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The simple, highly effective gimmick of this straightforward shocker is a malevolent clawed spectre named Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey), who only appears in the dark.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Moira Macdonald

    Lights Out is an effective, tidy little chiller; basically the same sneak-up-in-the-dark scare over and over. But hey, as we’ve learned through decades of horror movies, that stuff works.

    The Seattle Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    You don’t realize how much a good horror movie depends on acting until you stumble in that rare one whose cast actually gets it right.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Bello is an excellent actress and makes Sophie’s anguish credible, although she can’t rise above the material.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    The central idea here is as durable and effective as a well-told fireside ghost story, but in the cold light of day, the film fades.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Andrew Barker

    Very obviously a first feature, Lights Out is full of camp (most of it clearly intentional, some perhaps not), and its underlying mythology is confused and often ridiculous. But there’s an invigorating leanness — and a giddy, almost innocent energy — to the filmmaking.

    Variety Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    That the film occasionally succumbs to certain rudimentary hallmarks of industrial studio horror is regrettable, but for the most part it’s agreeably suspenseful, date-night arm-squeezing genre fare.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    Coming in a few notches below the terror factor of Wan’s most exemplary material, this somewhat less-satisfying variation of an ill-fated haunting nonetheless represents a solid debut for Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Sobczynski

    Lights Out has been made with a certain degree of style—enough to make you want to see what Sandberg might be capable of with a better screenplay—and it does contain one great moment that pays sly homage to the most famous moment from the classic thriller “Wait Until Dark.”

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Kate Erbland

    Sandberg unquestionably has an eye for a great horror motif — and, given the frequent use of absolutely gut-churning ambient sounds and hair-raising scratching noises, an ear for it, too — and he’s assembled a strong cast to tell Heisserer’s expanded story, but even those smart decisions and clear talents can’t push Lights Out to brighter heights.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Unfortunately, the film stumbles, offering too few legitimate scares and displaying an overreliance on traditional horror movie clichés.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Christopher Gray

    Few horror films are as insistent about the trauma mental illness inflicts on families as Lights Out, and still fewer are so insensitive about it.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The film is blatantly, unmistakably about mental illness, and that makes it hard to ignore or forgive what it ends up saying (hopefully by accident) on the subject.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Josh Kupecki

    It’s the cinematic equivalent to a carnival funhouse: a bit scary when you’re traversing it, but utterly forgettable (and mildly regrettable) once it’s over.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Lights Out is yet another half-baked, PG-13 scare-em snoozer centered on an underdeveloped supernatural concept that won’t even give kids a good nightmare.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Randall Colburn

    Jump scares are all Sandberg seems to have in his bag of tricks, and each is clunkily executed and met with an agonizing, ear-piercing shriek. Watching Lights Out is like standing next to an idiot with an air horn, never quite knowing when it’s about to blow in your ear. It’s a far cry from the freaky grace of his short.

    Consequence of Sound Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The fun wears out fast and so does the “gotcha” factor.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    This one, a debut feature, is awfully inept, whereas the short isn’t long enough for ineptitude to take hold, or for a story to develop.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Simon Crook

    A lean, mean scare-machine, and a surprise contender for horror of the year. Seek it out. Then, for God’s sake, buy a bedside lamp.

    Empire Full Review
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  • suicide

  • darkness

  • basement

  • based on short story

  • fear of the dark

  • ghost

  • switching lights on and off

  • reference to avenged sevenfold

  • half brother half sister relationship

  • light switch

  • light bulb

  • trapped in a basement

  • shot in the head

  • suicide by shooting self

  • grabbed from behind

  • mysterious figure

  • mentally ill mother

  • black light

  • based on short film

  • brother sister relationship

  • two word title

  • reference to slayer

  • reference to metallica

  • reference to ghost the band

  • dead father

  • redheaded woman

  • boyfriend girlfriend relationship

  • female ghost

  • dead body

  • photograph

  • police officer killed

  • fuse box

  • grabbed by ankle

  • flashback

  • jump scare

  • closet

  • younger version of character

  • depression

  • tape recorder

  • death of stepfather

  • social worker

  • headlights

  • lifted into the air

  • bottle of pills

  • child in peril

  • scream

  • mental illness

  • mentally ill

  • flickering light

  • mother daughter relationship

  • mother son relationship

  • warehouse

  • factory

  • textile factory

  • mannequin

  • flashlight

  • candle

  • death of father

  • title spoken by character

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