Lights Out (2016)★★★★☆


This one definitely had promise based on its trailer, and I’m happy to say it wasn’t a disappointment. It’s got a good cast and decent production value and that shows. I’m glad to see that people are still making decent scary movies rated PG-13 or lower. I don’t think it’s the swearing or graphic violence that makes a movie scary, and this movie helps prove that.

Sure, a lot of the scare factor in this film is from jump scares – but you’re already prepared for that from the trailer (and honestly, even from the title). And here, the jump scares are only scary because the antagonist is pretty scary. Especially if you’re already afraid of the dark. And by the way, wow – the tagline of “You were right to be afraid of the dark” was spot on.

That is, spot on for getting me to see this film. (Some spoilers ahead) In the context of the film, it’s not really accurate. It’s more like they (Rebecca and Martin) were right to be afraid of the dark. And anyone who got too close to them. But not like, anyone anywhere in the world. So maybe you weren’t right to be afraid of the dark (maybe).

I’m giving this movie a lot of credit for being well paced, well acted, and pretty scary. It falls apart if you start poking too hard at anything else, though. The characters are flat and a bit obvious (we get it already, Teresa Palmer is playing the “tough independent chick”). The ending is foreshadowed way too early and without much subtlety. The timeline of events for Diana and the family (especially any events involving CPS) was questionable at best.

But I can forgive those things because overall this movie starts out strong and should keep you entertained throughout. It’s one of the few more recent films to genuinely get my heart racing (and almost had me at the edge of my seat a few times). And it’s only rated PG-13!