* * * 3 out of 5 eyeliner pencils
The new horror film Lights Out has had two main marketing points. One – it is directed by James Wan (of The Conjuring and Insidious). Two – a sick trailer, promising a jump-scare movie using something that we all have been/still are afraid of – the dark.
First, the good.
I liked the casting of this movie – although I may be biased because it stars Adelaide home-grown talent Teresa Palmer in the leading role. Standout was the boyfriend (played by Alexander DiPersia) who offered some much-needed comic relief.
Also, I’m not sure if it was because we watched the film in a crowded theatre, but I did like how even when everyone knew a scare was coming, it scared the crud out of you anyway. I screamed in all the rights bit, so there is that.
However, the movie left me not with a bad taste in my mouth, but wanting so much more. A bit more character development (particularly of the mum) and perhaps a bit more mystery to the plot would have put this in top-tier horror movie level.
There were a few clichés, but not enough to really hold them against the film. However, it cannot go without saying that you cannot take a thin, attractive blonde woman and put her in a black shirt, plaster her room with skull posters and then convince the audience she is ‘dark’. Particularly when she lives above a tattoo studio (a piece of scenery that I would have loved to be more involved in the film) but doesn’t have any tattoos! COME ON!
As it is, I would recommend this movie for a Friday night DVD rather than paying to go and see it. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t break any new ground in horror film territory. Having said that, if you want some lolz, then do go and see in in theatres – I can promise crowd commentary that is so salty but so good!