“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” | Plato
I remember vividly watching a short film titled aptly Lights Out in the middle of the night, lying in bed, wide awake. After a little under three minutes, any doubt in my mind of becoming a storyteller were dimmed and my inspiration to continue my dream in entertainment was revived.
TO DATE THE LIGHTS OUT SHORT HAS OVER 12 MILLIONS VIEWS
What started as a small film (back then by an unknown couple) in an apartment broke through the horror scene with such a force that merely a year (or so) later, the small conception of what lurks in the dark became a full length film spearheaded by Mr. Creepy Puppet himself, horror icon James Wan.
Terror Time had the amazing opportunity of visiting the Warner Brothers lot for a private screening of Lights Out. I walked away feeling more inspired than ever but also have faith that the horror film genre, in the wake of remakes and unoriginal story ideas, has finally come to light.
In our lifetime, all of us have wondered what creeps in the shadows, what lives in the darkness that is not reachable by the human eye….
David Sandberg worked his way into this horror theme and created a phenomenal short that played on our fears. What is most admirable is that David is a pretty solid guy and has even shared tips on how to create movies in the safety of your own home. See How David Created Lights Out!
Because of David’s genius filmmaking skills, James Wan knew that this guy was meant for Hollywood and after viewing Lights Out, he teamed up with both David, and his wife who plays the main character in the short, and voila, a Hollywood movie was in the works. James and David…you guys simply glorify the real meaning of horror.
The premise for both films is fairly simple. When the lights go out, a figure stands shrouded amongst the darkness only to disappear when the lights are switched back on.
The movie follows the story of Rebecca who is called upon by CPS as her mother Sophie, has been suffering from depression and her younger, estranged brother Martin has been falling asleep in class. What follows next is a horror story of how not only children that have imaginary friends that they follow and play with; adults have them too.
The acting on every angle was superb. The plot was submerged in tangles a few times, and the beginning was a bit slow paced, but, Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman did a superb job of a sibling duo that try to save their mother from a malevolent force by the name of Diana that has no inclination of leaving Sophie’s side.
Based on the short, I was expected to go on a supernatural roller coaster of epic, horror proportions. There are so many ways you can idolize the demons of the dark and I felt Diana was amazing because of this one aspect. There literally was not a lot of CGI involved and I find this element truly captivating. If you remember, the “demon” in the Lights Out short, was actually Lotta Losten and Mr. Sandberg warped her face into one of the most memorable horror icons to date.
Side note, thank you Lotta and being so responsive to your fans. You are truly the epitome of a wonderful and humble individual in the entertainment industry and have always replied back to my inquires or any questions I had regarding your work. Same goes for David. It’s not surprising they work well together.
As a horror 80’s baby, I loved the film for its true form of originality. There were no really jump scares; all scares were genuine and I did jump in my seat a few times! I loved the buildup of learning Sophie’s dark past but I wish more was revealed in terms of Diana. Being that Diana is the creature that haunts the dark, I found it a bit ambiguous that the story line was not tailored more around her persona which I feel is important to engage the audience on a personal level.
As a true horror fan, I would encourage you to watch this film. The originality, cast performance and overall because I am a big believer that any idea, big or small, can come into fruition, needs to be imperative in today’s Hollywood creatives and beyond.
Terror Time will be at the premier on July 19th covering the event! We will share more photos and videos showcasing the film premiere!
You can check out the trailer to Lights Out here!
Lights Out debuts nationwide this Friday, July 22.
News update: Warner Bros./New Line is jumping into the mix and taking their James Wan horror production Lights Out down to the confab with a sneak preview on Wednesday, July 20 at 10PM at the UA Horton