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Lights Out (2016) - Movie Review


Lights Out is a horror movie about a family, that is being tormented by an entity/ghost. The catch is, it can only appear in the darkness. I was really looking forward to watching this because of its premise. I mean let's face it, fear of the dark is a fundamental fear that everyone experiences atleast once in there life. So a movie centered around something like this genuinely intrigued me. 

The cast did a uniformly good job. The kid was good, the mother, the sister, and hell, even the boyfriend. Usually the boyfriend/girlfriend character ends up being just disposable copy paste cliches, but this movie did a good job with the character. 

Run-time of the movie is short around 1 hour and 20 mins, so the pacing was fast. You don't have slow periods or long build up periods that horror movies usually have. From the start, shit starts happening. That was both a positive, and a negative for me. On one hand, I enjoyed the fast pacing as it kept me on the hook consistently. But on the other, not enough buildup or breathing room resulted in a far less creepy experience. 

I really liked how the ghost was represented. You don't really see anything but the eyes and dark figure, creepily moving around. Yes, there are typical horror moments like noises being heard, door openings etc, but for the most part, this ghost meant business. The movie went overboard with it, however, to the point that it honestly felt more like a monster movie than a horror movie. And this didn't reduce the enjoyment factor, it only made the movie less scary. 

The sound design was fantastic, and is probably my favourite thing in the movie. The sounds made my the ghost were unsettling. Surround sound utilization was really well done. There were times where I turned around to see where the sound was coming from, only to find out it was in the movie. Creepy, and awesome. Really good stuff. A surround system watch of this movie is highly recommended. 

Coming to the scares, it consisted of jump scares (Of course) and some genuine creepy moments. And this is the thing that I got really disappointed in. This setting is a gold mine. There are so many ways they could have done really creepy stuff, but what I got were a very few of them, and a lot of jump scares, which weren't bad per say, but their presence in something like this felt cheap and easy.

As for negatives, other than the ones already mentioned, the movie sometimes broke its own rule. There were some moments where the entity should not have been able to do stuff because of the light, but it still did.   

All in all, this movie no where near utilized the potential of its premise, but still ended up delivering a good watching experience, especially sound wise. So if you like horror movies, I definitely recommend it. This year has been a good one for horror, so far, I have to say. I hope this trend continues. 

7.5/10 

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