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Admittedly there’s always been the lure, titillation of the horror genre; would need therapeutic analysis, but recognize the myriad of company I’d have sharing the “couch”, and since it does nothing to cramp my daily duties, there’s no sense in “reasoning why”. Plus “Lights Out” is really good; insightfully written, directed and performed; never laughable, audiences are silently cemented to every lusciously scary, tantalizing, terrifying scene.

Director David F. Sandburg and his stunning cast have created a tightly-wrought, non-superfluous scenario where nary a minute is squandered; Teresa Palmer as “Rebecca” is intelligent, savvy, and imbues the young woman, shunning her unstable mother, with intrepid resolve, as she tries to rescue her half brother “Martin” (young Gabriel Bateman is flawless) from succumbing to the late night antics perpetuated by a nasty, maniacal scepter,  requiring complete darkness to accomplish her lethal chores. Alexander Di Persia is convincing as the caring, sensitive “Bret”, the boyfriend, willing to do anything to captivate intransigent Rebecca.

It is Maria Bello’s performance as “Sophie”, a disturbed, traumatized woman, the mother of two, widowed twice, who seals the successful fate of “Lights Out”;  she captures the raw vulnerability of a woman on the verge of a horrific psychotic break; fighting a female, freakish force threatening  to annihilate all she cherishes along with the remaining threads of her sanity. This is Bello’s finest characterization since 2005’s “A History of Violence.”

“Lights Out” guarantees a significant uptick in the sale of night-lights.




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