Sep 27, 2014

Review: Lights Out (2013)

Horror films in general when it comes to being scary for their entire run times. It depresses me to think of all the horror movies I've seen that start off good, but by the middle of the movie go into mediocre to awful territory. There's a problem of being able to sustain scariness. Trailers are never a good indicator of how scary a movie is either because editors can pack all the scary bits into a short package without revealing that the rest of the film is dull.

That's where short films come in. Lights Out is a little under three minutes and that's a good thing. There's no need to develop a narrative with unlikeable, stereotypical characters for the masses and it isn't too difficult to sustain suspense over that short period of time. Watching a short horror film like Lights Out is pretty much like rinsing out your palette. It's a nice break from the constant disappointment that the horror genre is capable of delivering.

I think I started Lights Out once when I stumbled on a link for it. In I think about 15 seconds I just said "Nope" and promptly closed the tab on my browser. This time I got through it.


Genre: short, horror
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Produced by: N/A
Written by: David F. Sandberg
Music by: N/A
Running time: 3 minutes
Production company: N/A
Distributed by: N/A
Country: Sweden
Language: No spoken dialogue
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry

Starring: Lotta Losten



It's a rainy night and a woman (Lotta Losten) goes to her bedroom after a trip to the bathroom. When she turns off the hallway light, she discovers that she might not be by herself.


Lights Out establishes its setting simply and effectively. A woman at home by herself during a rainy night. Being afraid that we might not be alone is something I'm sure all of us have felt at certain times, whether or not we want to admit it.

So what do we do? Well we keep the lights on right? That should keep all the ghoulies away, no problem. But what happens if the light goes out? That's what director Sandberg tries to answer. He does so with some really professional use of sound, lighting, effects and camera use. In short, Lights Out is a short film with some really good production values.

I love the creaks and I love the camera angle that's done underneath the bed cover. It makes you not want our main character to get out from underneath them. There's maybe only one jump scare that I would categorize as a jump scare but it's well built and doesn't feel cheap. (Spoilers) The final shot is not what I would call a jump scare, but more of a jump dread. Combined with the music, it gives a big sinking feeling to your stomach. (End Spoilers)

All in all Lights Out is well built up and it utilizes its tools very well. It's a highly recommended horror short without a doubt.



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