Overall Rating: 2.0/5
Director: David Sandberg
Watch If: You don't care about plot.
Not If: You want some jump scares.
Similar To: The Conjuring, Annabel, From the Dark
The Bare Bones: There isn't really... a plot? I mean... there's a monster, and a sloppily cobbled backstory... but...yeah.
The Monster that can't go into the light is a concept that has been revisited many, many, many-many-many-many times. And for good reason. The fear of the dark is a biological instinct for us, and it's very easy to manipulate. But because of that, I fully believe that if you are going for such an obvious concept, you can't afford to be lazy. And Lights Out was Very lazy.
The simple premise could have been easily over looked if the plot had been intriguing, the explanation had offered anything, of the monster itself had been in the least bit original. But none of this happened. The plot is so sloppy and lackluster that I hesitate to even call it that. The backstory/ explanation was so rushed that it almost didn't matter. All in all, I think Lights Out would have been better if they had just left out the explanation entirely.
It all just felt... tired.
I thought the vast majority of the film was visualy intriguing, and in a few spots, just pretty. There were a few points where I got a peak of the brilliant creation that this film could have been.
The James Wan was all like "lets reuse the witch from the Conjuring. No one will notice."
Guess what Jimmy. We noticed. We noticed HARD.
Which Witch is Which?
The tragic thing here is that the first third was really promising. The tension was there, the priceless cocktail of WTF and Why was strong. But the further the film progresses, the more obvious it becomes that this movie has no direction. Everything comes too easily, it's too convenient. I can't care about any of the characters. The explanation is contrived, and once they reveal the 'monster' all suspense and terror vanish entirely. Everything after that seemed doofy.
It was vastly more terrifying in my head. Couple that with you shoddy writing and non-existent plot, and you've got yourself a 2.0.