(Warner Bros. Pictures; Downloaded from Art with Impact July 7, 2018)
(Originally posted on PatPostsAboutFilm.tumblr.com on July 7, 2018)
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Runtime: 1hr 21m
Director: David F. Sandberg
During the 2010s, and up until thought provoking films such as Get Out and Hereditary were released, Hollywood went through a phase of releasing many horror films with good potentials for stories, but poor execution. It does not help that Hollywood frequently slaps a James Wan label on films that he either produced or consulted. This is one of those films.
I tend to agree with critical consensus on a lot of films, but this is not one of them. Lights Out was a box office success, and received positive reviews. So when I watched the film, I was intrigued by the concept in the film. It’s simple. A ghost follows you when the lights are out. So, similar to It Follows, with an added exception of light distribution, right? Not exactly.
Instead, this is the kind of horror film where all the tropes are obvious.There’s a cheesy backstory on how the evil entity formed, and why it ruins lives. Okay, great. Some horror films need this. If you are going to setup an ongoing problem, this opens up the possibilities for many solutions. Picking “suicide is the clear option” choice is what the film grabs from the hat, and like I would expect, it is poorly executed.
Suicide should never be an answer to a problem, whether in the real world, or the horror world within any story. It’s cheap, causes more pain that it intends, and only encourages an ongoing problem to continue, rather than look for actual solutions.
Unlike many horror films though, this one provides a great solution, and that is within the film’s title. Lights Out, isn’t just an easy phrase turned into a sinister name for a horror film, it is a word of caution. Advice. In America, many citizens use up energy for several every day tasks. This film advises viewers not to spend 81 minutes of the grid’s energy to turn the lights out for this miserable experience.