Movie Review: Lights Out (2016)

Synopsis: Years after leaving home because of her mother's mental illness, Rebecca's half-brother, Martin, is losing sleep for the same reason, particularly her mom's "imaginary" friend, Diana. However, after letting Martin spend the night in her apartment and encountering Diana in her living room, Rebecca begins to suspect Diana isn't imaginary after all.

Who's in it? The movie stars Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Billy Burke and Alexander DiPersia. 

Review: My daughters picked this film out for our family movie night, but it was already on my list because it sounded intriguing. We wound up watching it last night and, while I don't think there was anything particularly special about it, it still ended up being an entertaining choice.

I think the thing I liked most about this film was the mystery surrounding Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey). Was she a demon? A ghost? A manifestation of some dark thoughts in the mom (Bello)? The fact Diana didn't seem to be tied to any physical location and showed the ability to attack at any address as long as the lights were off only added to that. In fact, even though the movie does eventually reveal who Diana is, it still left the reason for her abilities a mystery.

Another thing I liked about this film was Rebecca's (Palmer) boyfriend, Bret (DiPersia). At first, I thought he'd be the stereotypical boyfriend who wouldn't believe her and even mock her and, at first, that seemed to be confirmed. However, he proved to be surprisingly supportive throughout, which was pretty impressive considering Rebecca was going out of her way to avoid any sort of long-term commitment with him.

The ending was solid, offering quite a bit of suspense and danger and with a twist I honestly wasn't expecting. I was still confused about how they would explain it to the authorities, but at minimum, it didn't detract from the overall plot, which isn't necessarily guaranteed with movies lately.

Final Opinion: As I said, I wouldn't describe this as anything overly special but it was a solid thriller that we did enjoy watching. I'd recommend it based on that.

My Grade: B


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