Director:David .F Sandberg .
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Maria Bello . USA. 1h 21m.
Back in 2015 David Sandberg frightened a lot of people with his short film entitled Lights Out, despite it being only a few minutes long it really did hit a nerve with a lot of people including me. Now the story has been refined and more details lead to more scares, it’s a great attempt to make something from a short film and provides a decent horror film but it is lacking a few details.
Originally it was an unknown entity that surprised Lotta Losten on her way to bed. Now we have a name and a new face to this entity, but much to my surprise the first person it scares is Lotta! After she gets the initial frights she leaves the rest of the shenanigans up to the rest of the cast and isn’t seen again but well done for having her back, ok fair enough she is married to the director..
A man, Lotta’s boss; is stalked by a malicious creature that seems to attack only in the dark spaces of his factory, and as he’s pulled into the darkness forever his family are left to cope with his disappearance. His wife, Sophie (Bello) is heavily medicated but recently she’s been taking less and acting out, talking to herself, and her imaginary friend, her son is concerned not only about her but the creepy noises he hears at night and is barely sleeping. After dropping off at school his big sister picks him up. Slowly dark secrets that the mother has been keeping since her childhood start unfold, as ?? returns to the family home and tries to connect with her distant mother and frightened and vulnerable little brother ?? () can the estranged unravel the secrets of the dark entity, get back into her mother’s life to help save her family, but what is she fighting? and how can she win?
You were right to be afraid of the dark.
Phew.. I made it through the film. I really didn’t think I was going to make it. I reviewed the short film back in 2015 and gave it a full marks as it frightened the shit out of me and has a lasting effecting on me, which I adore it for. I was hoping for more of the same for this feature by the same director, my only real fear is that the raw talent from his original shorts was going to be lost, by making the films longer, can he really sustain that edge for a much longer time and that the character that he has built up was going to be stripped and destroyed by the Hollywood Machine. I was pleasantly surprised.. he managed to keep some of the jumps and with so much time he shows a lot of talent with building tension.
There are a few downsides, but I overlooked them quite easily. My main hang ups were the change of the creature’s appearance, it’s now very stereotypical and could have stood out more if they kept to the original design, plus it was one of the key features that worked so well with the original.
But if you cast the Hollywood away there is still a brilliant film, with a fairly unique story, that’s helped with some super acting especially from Alexander DiPersia and Gabriel Bateman as the younger brother.
It’s an attractive success story really, going from short to the silver screen in a matter of a couple of years is impressive, and people are really noticing him as he’s scheduled to work on Annabelle 2 and Lights out 2 as well as other projects and he’s not giving up with the short movies either and the Closest is worth checking out while you wait for more work.
R – Lights Out short (2015), Don’t be afraid of the Dark (2010), Night Watch (2004), Silent Hill 2 (2012)
L – Horror in the Dark
A -Playing in the Dark, when the darkness scares us ..
5S – David .F Sandberg,
Vs – Lights Out Vs Lights Out.