Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lights Out (2016)


Genre: Supernatural
Director: David F. Sandberg
Availability: In Theaters

One of the greatest failings of any story is laziness.

In horror movies we rely on the fact that a big part of fear comes from what we don't know - The Big Unknown - it looms over us and the shadow that it casts is wide and dark. The journey that we go on to unearth the How and Why is just as important as the jump scares and the creepy imagery. Granted, this is a horror movie and not a murder mystery, I get that, but there's still an art to gradually unveiling relevant information instead of, oh say, discovering a box full of photos, recordings (that happens to play at the perfect spot when you press play) and confidential case files in literally the first place that you look. It's lazy storytelling and it's unforgivable.

And it wasn't the only instance of such a sin in Lights Out. What was the "experimental treatment" and are we going to talk about the fact that she can "get inside your mind"? No. We're just supposed to take these things at face value and continue to scream at the obscene amount of jump scares?

These glaring issues aside, Lights Out was a more competent horror movie than many. Its concept was unique, the jump scares were effective, and the ending was bold. It will most certainly be touted as one of the best of 2016 by critics, no doubt. I had fun watching it but I fear that it will prove itself to be a forgettable movie. It lacked a memorable journey and its atmosphere was generic. Even the title - Lights Out - I keep wanting to call it Don't Turn Out The Lights, or Lights Off, or That movie about the light switch.

3 out of 5 stars