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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Lights Out

September 1st, 2016 by Phil Robinson Comments

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Lights Out poster

Suicide Squad (15)
Directed by: David F Sandberg
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman and Maria Bello
Running time: 1hr 21mins

When a major studio-backed horror film hits the big screen, it can give us horror fans a twinge of worry; it seems that unless you’re James Wan, you can fall victim of “them” wanting to make a quick buck over a good movie.

Luckily, Lights Out has the man himself on board in a producing role, but can that elevate this above the lesser horror flicks we’ve been getting in spades as of late?

There’s a reason you may be on edge going into Warner Bros’ Lights Out; big names attached to the genre can weigh it down. Luckily, for whatever reason, those involved with this project seem to have been left to do the devil’s work, because from the first scene here you can breathe a sigh of relief… after catching your breath from a solid, scary opening scene – one of the best opening scenes I’ve seen in an out-and-out horror flick in some time.

The film gives us our story setup straight out of the gate; no real messing around, it introduces an honestly creepy creature, some likeable off-model characters (a serious plus in this genre) and throws more than a few really good, off-kilter scares into a seriously strong first half of a film that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Meeting the characters from here – our leading lady, played with serious strength by Teresa Palmer, and her boyfriend, by Alexander DiPersia, who together provide a fresh twist on a horror relationship cliche – introduces a tilt on a well known dynamic, as we meet the rest of the cast who drive a plot based around a simple, effective idea.

The film descends into a tale based around a proper family drama, that at its best and darkest will have genre fans recalling The Babadook – though as the by-the-book genre moments sadly creep in, you soon realise Lights Out won’t stick with you quite like that one.

Though things get a little bogged down by familiar development, it’s the strong performances, a descent story – revolving round a tense guessing game – and some very good scares that carry this film proudly. It doesn’t break any moulds, but it uses its building blocks to scare the bejeezus out of you.

This film has its own instructions: watch with the lights out, the sound up, the brain switched off and watch the popcorn fly.

3 out of 5 Nerds

3nerds

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Hidden deep in the woods, past the abandoned insane asylum and long-forgotten summer camp, off the old dirt road, across the creaky timber bridge, lies a log cabin. Under the full moon some have said they've heard blood-curdling howls from deep in the basement, though none have been brave enough to explore further... If they had, the shocking reveal would be that the screams come from old horror VHS tapes, accompanied by the maniacal laugh of Phil Robinson, brought on by comics and wrestling promos. The self-confessed "horror guy", he has also been known to talk about Spider-Man and heavy metal at great, unnecessary lengths. Yes, he knows he needs a haircut.

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