Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Closing up shop in a mannequin factory one evening, Paul is terrorized by a creepy specter that can only be seen when the lights are turned off. Following his grizzly demise his surviving daughter, Rebecca, moves out of her parents’ home leaving her younger brother, Martin, alone with their clinically depressed mother, Sophie. Soon Martin informs her sister that their mother is acting strange and speaks to an imaginary person at night named “Diana”. Mirroring her own experience growing up with her mother, Rebecca decides to remove Martin from the home to live with her. When this arrangement does not work out Rebecca, her boyfriend, and Martin decide to live with Sophie until they can resolve her problem, namely Diana, who stalks them at night whenever the lights are off.
Creepy at times with a killer “creature”, Light’s Out never quite figures out what Diana is supposed to be or to what the extent of her powers are. It could be argued that the narrative is really a story about mental illness (i.e. clinical depression) and that Diana is a symbol of the pain and depths of despair that comes along with depression like compulsive hoarding is the outward manifestation of anxiety. Although produced by James Wan, who made several films I dislike including The Conjuring and Insidious (1, 2 &3), Light’s Out has some actual scares with a likable cast. The story stems from a 3 minute short created by director David F. Sandberg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adap4rzlM2I) and it can be argued that the story has been “stretched” across 80 minutes. Still there are at least 2 standout sequences that raised the hair on my neck. Check it out or just watch the short.