WHEN DAVID F. SANDBERG caught  the publics back in 2013 with his short film, Lights Out, it seemed inevitable that it would thrust him in the limelight.

Three years later he released a movie of the same name with the same concept, an entity that is manifested when the lights are out.

Where the filmmakers then take this and expand on the original is to have said entity born out of the mental illness and depression of Sophia.

It is only when her son Martin actually sees the manifestation that questions are raised, but suspicions fall upon his Mother’s ability to look after him.

In steps older sister, Rebecca and a slightly unwilling boyfriend, Bret to take Martin under their wing.

As the past comes to light so does the gruesome reality that was buried deep within the institution that Sophia spent some of her time.

Only by facing their past can the family truly get past their demons.

It feels a shame then that the filmmakers didn’t spend more time on character development.

They had the perfect opportunity to shed light on a topical and important subject in society with mental illness, instead it felt the chance with squandered to favour pushing out a film and still capitalising on the success of the short film.

If more time and dedication were placed on this and indeed the entity known as Diana, it would have proven to be a much more frightening movie grounded in the realism of a subject that is often left in the dark.

Such a let down and I felt that more attention was focused on the concept, and in doing so we’re left feeling hollow as a result.

I’m somewhat puzzled by the success that this film received at the box office and even more so that a sequel has been greenlit.

But hey, I’m willing to go against the grain and say that Lights Out was the worst high profile horror movie of 2016.

  • Paul Farrell