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

  • Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE: A Masterpiece Epic of Loyalty and Courage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WAR HORSE, the World War I epic, from DreamWorks Pictures and Director Steven Spielberg, brings to the screen an emotionally charged, visually stunning, story of the unshakable bonds of family, the desolation of war and the hope of renewal.

     
  • The Wall Review - Gripping, Raw, Psychological Warfare

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Wall, from Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, presents a contemporary wartime drama, a psychological cat and mouse, kill or be killed, snap trap with heightened suspense, mind bending mental game, played out in the heat of the Iraqi desert.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Stumps for Hillary; Election 2016; Bridgegate; Brexit; SC Serial Killer; Chicago Cubs

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has indicted he is monitoring closely the efforts by the Army Corp of Engineers who agreed to issue a pause on the Dakota Access Pipeline construction until further consultation with the local tribes could be completed.

     
  • John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum Review - Heart Racing Fast Action, Solid Entertainment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum, from Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, presents the third installment in the assassin trilogy, as Mr. Wick, now banished, must find his way back to the place where he can atone for his mistake.

     
  • High Rise Review - Impressive Performances Hold This Graphically Violent Film Together

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    High Rise, from Magnolia Pictures, Film4 and BFI, presents a perfect allegory of the degradation of society when restraint and boundaries are completely or limited removed when a newly minted luxury apartment building faces a failure of services.

     
  • THE TOWER, From Director Kim Ji-hoon and CJ Entertainment, Presents a Disaster Film For The Ages

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Tower, from Korean Director Kim Ji-hoon and The Tower Pictures, is burning through the global market, after a Number 2 Box Office opening, with its super intense, dramatic, mega adrenaline rush action.

     
  • Finding Your Feet Review – A Charming, Delightful, Comedic Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Finding Your Feet, from Roadside Attractions, presents the story of two unique sisters so far removed from each other that it isn’t until calamity strikes, and what was expected to be forever ends, that they reunite.

     
  • Health, Wellness: Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As lifespans increase, proactively keeping your heart healthy becomes a bigger priority. According to Medical News Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Data from the Health Indicators Warehouse shows a consistent decline in heart disease deaths from 2008 to 2012, but 2013 saw a slight increase.

     
     
  • Todd Eberle, New York Artist, Opens His Cosmos Gallery Show In Mexico City

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Todd Eberle is an acclaimed New York City-based photographer whose work is united by a clean and analytical minimalist aesthetic, his newest collection brought to life through the thought "Nihil fit ex nihilo - nothing comes from nothing." 

     
  • Season Kicks Off Saturday, June 27 at Santa Anita Race Track and Sunday, June 28, At Walt Disney Concert Hall

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    California Philharmonic and the incomparable Maestro Victor Vener are turning the heat up on summer entertainment with a spectacular series of concerts featuring his world-class orchestra and a sizzling slate of special guests. The highly-anticipated season kicks off the last weekend in June.  

  • Revenge of the Green Dragons Review – One Explosive Gangsta Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Revenge of the Green Dragons," from IMGlobal and A24, resurrects the New York Gang films during the influx of Chinese immigrants and the rise of gang warfare with a  masterpiece depiction, hot with sharp dialogue, stunning in authenticity.

     
  • Secret Shine, Fafa Galoure Drop New Tunes; Major Stations Picking Up Play Across UK, Israel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It's still freezing here in England with most of the country under a sheet of ice, so we are staying put, warming up and serving some excellent music. Today on the roster we have Secret Shine and Fafa Galoure.

     
  • London’s Best Cocktail Bars Book Review – A Libation Lovers Guide to the Long Pour (Recipes)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    London’s Best Cocktail Bars: The Most Popular Hotspots, presents a libation-lovers walking guide through forty-eight of the best drinking venues, from rooftops to undergrounds, well known and hidden, a colorful collection of concoctions sure to please.

     
  • Someone Great Review – Millennial Romantic Dramady Strikes All the Right Notes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Someone Great, a Netflix original film, tells the story of three friends, in a magical city, who for more than a decade were the other’s lifeline and suddenly the hard work paid off, and man was it disruptive. 

     
  • Money News: World Markets Close Up; DOW Down

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial struggled against a sluggish economy, rising gasoline prices, an adjusted US GDP Growth rate, as nine of the most watched global markets closed up, the sluggish DOW closed down amidst political uncertainty and global instability.