★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki
"If she's not a ghost, then what is she?" That's a disturbingly inquisitive quote from Teresa Palmer in Lights Out, a great horror film that falls just shy of being a horror classic. Palmer plays Rebecca, a woman living alone in an apartment who is estranged from her mother, Sophie (played by Maria Bello), who is mentally ill & suffers from depression. Rebecca left home after her father abandoned them. Sophie talks to an imaginary "friend" named Diana (played by Alicia Vela-Bailey). Rebecca's younger brother, Martin (played by Gabriel Bateman), has suffered from insomnia after seeing Diana. Rebecca, fearing for her brother's safety, takes Martin with her to live with her & her lover, Paul (played by Alexander DiPersia). However, social services takes him back to Sophie, where she tells Martin that Diana was a childhood friend of hers when she was at a mental institution for her depression. Diana was extremely sensitive to light, & she died after being exposed to it for too long. Diana is trying to kill anyone who gets between her & Sophie, so now, Rebecca, Martin & Paul must stop Diana at any price.
Palmer, Bello & Bateman were great. The direction from David F. Sandberg is great, along with Eric Heisserer's screenplay. And the editing from Michel Aller is really good. Although it does have a few rough spots, it does provide legitimate scares.