Wanna know a little Hollywood secret? James Wan didn’t make Lights Out. I know you see his name on the posters, in LARGE FONTS and all that bullshit, but that’s just the marketing team capitalizing on the fact that most casual audiences don’t know the differences between a producer and a director. Just like how Tim Burton didn’t direct Alice Through the Looking Glass, James Wan did not direct Lights Out, but rather, is one of the producers of the film. In other words, if you’re walking into Lights Out hoping to dive into a pool of James Wan’s semen, you’re going to be disappointed.

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This isn’t saying that Lights Out is a horrible movie, though personally, I thought it was going to be. Not just because of the fact that 94.36%* of horror movies these days are a combination of my high school Add-Maths teacher and an unflushed toilet – stupid and full of shit – but also because this is a feature film based on a short film, and that isn’t always a good idea. Turns out, this was one of the rare instances where I walked out of a horror movie with just some gripes about the movie, instead of the usual where I’m escorted by members of suicide watch because I tried to end my life multiple times in the cinema. Yes, I would rather end my life than sit through the entirety of shit like Ouija, Anabelle and fucking Sinister 2!

*The percentage above may or may not be accurate due to it being conjured up in my asshole.

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Lights Out is a unique horror film, I’ll give it that. For one, the premise and concept is fresh. This isn’t a horror movie with possession, bent bodies and nail-filled puke. Neither is it about ghostbusters with old tape recorders and giant cameras. Lights Out is more like Tom & Jerry. Only, imagine if Tom could only maneuver in the dark and Jerry’s only shield is light. That’s probably the most apt description of this movie. This makes for a very exciting and kan cheong movie at parts, especially in the final act.

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You have Tom chasing Jerry around the house, and Jerry and friends are setting traps made up of flashlights, table lamps and candles. Jerry and friends also have a secret weapon which is a black light, and when Jerry uses the black light to make Tom visible and simultaneously shines the flashlight at it, it burns. There was this one time, Jerry’s friend had no light, so he used his handphone screen light and the whole cinema BURST OUT LAUGHING. Yeah, told you this is some unique shit.

Note how I didn’t use the word scary. Unlike James Wan’s efforts in The Conjuring films, Lights Out directed by David Sandberg doesn’t give you goosebumps or make you worried for the characters or turn non-believers into believers or make you have sleepless nights and wet your bed for 300 days straight. Rather, this is like the best fucking carnival haunted house game ever! Seriously, using flashlights as fucking lighsabers? That’s the DREAM! I’m not mocking this movie, guys. This movie is legitimately a lot of fun at parts.

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The problem is, when it’s not fun, it’s again, like my high school Add-Maths teacher. As the story progresses, it makes less and less sense. I can’t say much without spoiling it, but I will say this: Something happens at the end which made me wonder if the writer Eric Heisserer went, “Oh shit! I completely didn’t think of that. Oh well, let’s just scribble some bullshit down.” This movie also lacks proper character development. Guys, character arcs are important in movies! Unfortunately, the only character arc in Lights Out is: At the start of the movie, hot chick doesn’t wanna let hot guy move in with her as she only “likes” the guy. By the end of the movie, hot chick allows hot guy to move in with her. What the actual fuck? How about exploring the character of the hot chick’s crazy mom, more? I care about the hot chick’s crazy mom. I don’t care about hot chick, unless she decides to jump outta the screen and give me a lap dance. She didn’t.

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Side note: I would like to say, though the characters aren’t that great bla bla bla, the writing is still MILES and I mean MILESSSSSSSSSS better than fucking OUIJA! I will never forget Ouija till the day I die. God bless the filmmakers of Ouija – they’re worse than Donald Trump!

At the end of the day, Lights Out did a few things right:

  1. The climax is a shit ton of fun, especially with audience members who scream every 2 seconds.
  2. The kid actor is pretty legit.
  3. It isn’t cliché.
  4. It made me desperately want to bone Teresa Palmer AKA the hot chick AKA Jerry.

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Because of those reasons, Lights Out is worth watching, but

Only Watch If Your Wi-Fi Is Down

All photos sourced from Lights Out.