There have been movies in the past that played with Nyctophobia, a severe fear of the dark, but I haven’t seen one that truly terrified me as much as Lights Out. Based on a 2013 short film by David F. Sandberg (he also directs this full length version), the film follows a creature that only thrives in the dark. After watching it, you’ll definitely want a flashlight by your bed.
After the death of her stepfather, a young woman named Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) reluctantly connects with her estranged mother (Maria Bello) after her younger brother expresses concern. He can’t sleep and something is stalking him in the night, something his mother is speaking to. Rebecca believes it to be severe depression at first. However, she soon discovers there’s something truly evil lurking in the dark and it’s attached to her family.
The film wastes no time getting straight to the scares as we are instantly introduced to the creature, which pays tribute to the original short. There’s something so terrifying about this simple silhouette and the film plays with that using various lights and shadows. As much as you try to prepare yourself for all the scares, you never fully are. I was so pleased with this film and how unpredictable it was, even playing with some classic horror ideas and twisting them.
There is a bit of humor mixed in, which is always great in the midst of all the terror. What I love is that the original creator was given the directors spot and it truly feels he made his vision in full now. While the creature is a little different than in the short, both are equally terrifying. If you’re looking for a great original, exciting horror film, make sure you watch Lights Out when it hits theaters July 22, 2016.