an eerie silhouette of a human-like creature loiters down the hall. You repeatedly blink in an attempt to mould its blurred lines, but the dishevelled contour of the unfathomable spectre remains absolutely motionless. Lights on
nothing there. Lights out
it's moved a couple of inches near you, and your breath starts to come in short gasps. Lights on
a tinge of stinging pain strikes your bloodshot eyes, and sweat covers your petrified face. You hesitatingly move your fingers upon the switch and take an abrupt stop in the middle to wonder what will happen the next time the lights go out. Well, let's see. Lights out
perhaps, you shouldn't have been so curious.
In 2013, Swedish filmmaker, David F. Sandberg, put out one of the most iconic horror short-film experiences that the internet had ever experienced. By that time, all the corners of the virtual realm were awash with the amateurish spine-tingling stories, and the emergence of urban legends, such as The Slenderman. They galvanised aspiring writers to leave their marks on virtual forums, but a selected few decided to take their projects to a whole new level by transferring them to a wider scope.
Lotta Losten, who played the nameless main character in the short-film version, enacts a below-par reinterpretation of the same scene, which filled our hearts with sheer dread on Youtube. This time, she plays a woman who works in a mannequin warehouse, and, while clocking out, happens to have a ghastly encounter with a ghoulish presence; However, she's able to sheer away from a gruesome fate. Subsequently, she warns her boss, Paul, about what she saw. He doesn't seem to give much thought to it, but later on, while walking down a dimly lit hall, he comes across a monstrous apparition, which drags him into the darkness, and mauls him to death.
The story follows the brothers, Martin and Rebecca, trying to fathom the depression episodes of their mother, Sophie, who happens to have an unexplained connection with the same demonic entity, who attacked Paul, their stepfather. Rebecca is the typical rogue girl who's then telephoned by the school, where her brother studies, to talk about his sleeping in the class, of which he attributes to the same entity which happened to haunt his sister. Rebecca feels beholden to become his responsible guardian, inasmuch as her mother is not of sound mind to look after the boy, and that's when the very same monstrosity that traumatised her childhood, decides to lurk in the shadows of her bedroom one more time.
Unfortunately, the adapted version falls short in offering an immersing narrative compared to the original one. The short-film is well-off for uneasiness. It relates to the blood-curdling sensation of going to the kitchen, in the middle of the night, to get a glass of water, and feeling that, at any moment, a gelid hand will sneak up on you. The foundations of the original piece are the imaginary phantasmal beasts, which are masterfully woven due to mere creaks and noises.
The experience does not establish a favourable pace in order to evoke a heartfelt sympathy towards the characters. The film doesn't take too long to showcase its premise by walking us through its mechanics. A glowing lamp pops up in the screen signalling its importance in the narrative and it appears that the whole story is used as a mere background for its successful jump scares extravaganza. 'Lights Out' didn't seem to have inherited the same traces that its predecessor could have bequeathed, instead, it limits itself as a roller-coaster filled with jump scares that do not allow the viewer to take in the events. Notwithstanding, it does not entirely fail to regale us. The formula can be categorised as hackneyed, but gets its message effortlessly through to us by simply saying: Grab a torch and give darkness a wide berth. Lights Out
enjoy the ride.