Background: Sophie – the mother – is mentally ill, with manic and delusional episodes. Her young son Martin lives with her and her second
husband Paul. Her older daughter Rebecca, from Sophie’s first marriage, left home shortly after her father disappeared. Rebecca is currently having commitment issues with her boyfriend Brett, who is loyal throughout.
LIGHTS OUT opens with Paul at work, talking to son Martin on Skype. Martin is frightened – his mother is having one of her episodes. He hears her talking and when the lights are out he himself sees the crouching, crackling, hissing, frightening figure she is talking to.
Next scene, husband Paul is ready to leave his workplace to go home. He turns off the lights and this demonic spirit who is haunting his home appears; she crouches, springs and with long, dagger-like fingernails, murders Paul (I think).
Scene after that, time has elapsed and Martin can no longer sleep. His older half-sister Rebecca (with her boyfriend Brett) takes on the responsibility to protect Martin from this violent spirit, who she also saw when she lived at home.
With some investigating (looking through old scrapbooks and photographs) Rebecca finds out about her mother’s childhood friend Diana who was mentally ill and ended up being “fried” by a medical experiment gone bad. So is Diana a vindictive ghost who is connected to Sophie, or a real disfigured creature who Sophie is harboring???
Lights Out had the potential for being a well-crafted psychological thriller, but to my disappointment, it left too many questions unanswered. As a horror film, on the other hand, it did have several “jump-out-of-your-seat” or “dig-nails-into-husband’s-arm” scares, and that did get my adrenaline pumping. So, depends on what you’re in the mood for.
Teresa Palmer – Rebecca (half-sister)
Gabriel Bateman – Martin (younger half-brother) -same mother, different fathers
Maria Bello – Sophie (Rebecca and Martin’s mother)
Alexander DiPersia – Bret (boyfriend of Rebeca)
Billy Burke – Paul (Sophie’s husband and father of Martin)
Alicia Vela-Bailey – Diana, a malevolent spirit
Lotta Losten – Esther
Director: David Sandberg
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer
Producers: James Wan, Eric Heisserer, Lawrence Grey