Lights Out: Review

  
Occasionally, I like to take a break from the twisted world of horror films but don’t worry, I do not travel far at all. I scour the Internet to see what has been introduced on the short film circuit instead. It amazes me that I am never short of great content; without further ado, Lights Out.
Lights Out – Short Film – Clip

So what did you think? I personally think that this is one of the best executed horror films that I have seen in a long time, and this is despite the reveal of our antagonist at the end. 

The film starts with the woman clearly settling down for the night and as she turns the light off, we are dropped in to that all too familiar place; you know, the one where we think that we see something in the darkness that has suddenly enveloped the room. The dark figure we see at the end of the corridor is the embodiment of what is supposed to scare us the most – the fear of the Unknown. 

The figure is there and it is real but that’s about as much as we know. Borrowing from the realist tradition, we are not given many clues as to what is going on; the narrative is not important, the characters are. 

As the woman flicks the light on and off, we expect that each time, the eerie shape will appear closer – this is not the case. What happens instead is both simple and genius in its execution – Nothing happens for the first few times. The figure remains where we first saw it as the corridor is repeatedly plunged in to darkness. This is a great build of suspense because it is unconventional in comparison to the traditional horror. When the figure eventually does appear, it is right in our faces. The over the shoulder shot makes us relate with the woman and it truly makes you jump. 

In such a short amount of time we learn so much information but mainly the purpose of the light. No vocal cue needed, just the image of the woman taping the light switch in place – clearly our antagonist resides in the darkness. Like so many horror films before it, the light is the safe zone and the dark spells trouble. Somehow though, Lights Out seems fresh in its approach. 

The suspense continues after the woman runs to her bed. Perhaps this is so prominent because of the relationship that the safety of bed has to many of our childhood memories? If you have ever tucked yourself in to the covers, afraid to leave a leg outside, you will know what I mean.

Eerie noises and the impending creaks from the hallway keep us on the edge of our seats as all of these sounds lead us towards the belief that this unknown thing is approaching. As soon as the light goes out in the corridor we are once again shocked. This thing is not just her imagination. It’s real.

The lighting is used again to display a flickering lamp and the woman is forced to conjure up all her courage to put her arm out of the safe zone that she has made within her bed. She firmly pushes the lamp back in and restores the light and foolishly we believe that she has vanquished the evil presence.

Wrong. We see a strange creature with a creepy and psychopathic grin staring right at her after she gains the confidence to come out from under the covers. Usually, this would be the point that I am disappointed, the reveal, but instead I’m unnerved. 

The fear that I had as a child, that fear of the dark, never really went away. We all lie to ourselves and try to believe that it’s in the past but we in reality, we fear the unknown. The dark is the Unknown. 

This film builds suspense like no other and it does it in a fraction of the time-frame that others do. David Sandberg and Lotta Losten tapped in the fear that we all try so hard to suppress and done it in only a couple of minutes, this truly amazes me and scares the Hell out of my inner child.

I welcome the though of a feature by these two.

Great!

Advertisements

Completely unrelated to film but the mind does wander..

  
A friend of mine linked me to a great article regarding the Paris Catacombs. I had read a lot of rumours before and seen both horror films that deal with the setting; I never thought that any of the stories would be remotely real though. It seems a lot of thought went in to hiding this hidden social spot. What the hell is the note all about?! Check out the link below to read about it all in full. 

Catacomb Discovery

Just another day.. But Wait!

I didn’t go back to bed after my girlfriend’s alarm went off this morning and I am not sorry. Usually I would be complaining about how I needed that extra hour of sleep – I simply cannot survive without it.

But not today..

Let me give you a bit of background; I used to be up for work very early, 4am to be exact, and my alarm would always wake her up too; this is now a form of payback, i am so sure of it. She secretly enjoys the site of me being awoken before I need to be. Actually, it is no secret.

Today was different from all the other times – it is my before-day and tomorrow my birthday. My inner child was begging me to jump out of bed to investigate the presents that have already been wrapped for tomorrow. What the hell are they? Xbox fun? Cat related items? Maybe something to do with the ninja turtles? Or maybe something adult like socks. Cat socks. Honestly, I don’t have a clue despite grilling my mum for answers – she is the weak one.

catsocks

As the confusion over presents faded from my brain it suddenly dawned on me that my brain was wide awake. I was in the zone and ready for the creative switch to be flicked. The laptop was charged and ready to go and all of a sudden I was in a firm position to take on the feature length script that has been in the planning process for so long. I think that the aspect that we should take away from this should be that  I am far more productive when plied with presents – I know you are reading Emma.

So here I am in Starbucks; coffee fuelled and tapping away – nothing can stop me.

Wait..

Children. Everywhere..

Damn school holidays.

Needle and an Honest Portrait: Film Review

machinedeath

A lot of independent horror films have graced our screens in recent years but the 2010 film, Needle, showed me how the formula isn’t always perfect. I had a lot of hope for this film before hand as I had read a few good reviews but I can safely say that this film was not the one that I have been searching for all this time. I mean, ‘The Babadook’ was a great piece of cinematic horror; naturally I thought that an indie film from the same part of the world might satisfy my craving for the otherworldly – oh, how wrong.

The acting was drab, the characters seemed incomplete and the story just kind of bombed about midway through. I had no interest in the characters and I really tried, honest. I think the point in which I realised that I was in for a long night was an initial scene where I was introduced to a couple of the protagonists friends. I say the protagonist, because I genuinely do not remember any of the character’s names – they were pretty forgettable. The two friends happened to be lesbians; ordinarily this would not be a problem, but it was an issue because the whole narrative seemed to freeze before I was assaulted by scene after scene of them making out. Why would they not just act like everyone else? Why did they have to be putting on a show? It made no sense. As you can imagine I was disappointed and annoyed at the lack of script work and the lack of consideration for the two characters sexual preference. Was this written by a horny version of myself years previously? If so, I apologise..

The film moved on and the narrative  progressed and although I was not impressed, I found myself paying attention to what was happening. I was amazed because here I was complaining to my girlfriend about the film in one instance, before instantly telling her to be quiet while I was fed secrets that I never saw coming. Still, by the end I felt like I had wasted a part of my life, not because the film was poor, but because it appeared to have so much potential before it failed miserably.

Take the device for instance,  Le Vaudou Mort; The image of the device is above and it’s a pretty original concept and if used correctly this film could of been a lot of fun. In fact, in my opinion, the device is the thing that saved this film but also it’s major downfall. Needle used this prop as a means to create a murder mystery and I believe that this is what kept me engaged – I just wanted to find out who was committing all these horrifying acts. The negative factor was that  Le Vaudou Mort was not needed in the film. I’m sure people have been committing voodoo related atrocities for years without the need of this machine.

Regardless of what I surmise, Needle picked up an award at an underground Australian film festival and screened at Screamfest so somebody saw the potential in it. Maybe you will like it, maybe not. One thing is for sure – this is not the holy grail of horror.

On to the next!

My Love of the Darker Things in Life

  
It’s a questionable hobby and one that I never really thought about until a short time ago. People ask me what I do when I’m not writing film scripts or googling various images and videos of cats on the web; I have the same hobbies as most other people. Oh but i forgot, I also like to see people terrorised until the point of death..

Thankfully, I’m not alone. A recent article about opening box office weekends gave me an insightful read, one that conjured up a wry smile as the realisation that i am not a sadistic f**k set in. The weekend that ‘Gone Girl’ come out was the same weekend that ‘Annabelle’ was released, although the latter was not terrible, it most certainly was not as well received as it’s creator, ‘The Conjuring’. Surprisingly, ‘Annabelle’ managed to take $37.2 million at the box office in comparison to ‘Gone Girl’s’ $38 million. Let’s just take a step back and put that in to perspective for a second..

The amount that ‘Annabelle’ took in that opening weekend is more than double the $15 million that the US remake of ‘The Ring’ took in it’s opening weekend; amazing if you consider that Gore Verbinski’s film is often paraded as one of the greatest horror remakes ever made! People have clearly taken a liking to the darker area of cinema.

This sudden boom in the attendees of horror screenings has prompted me to share my passion with everyone else and this is my reason for creating this blog. I want to reach out in to the depths of your innermost fears and cast my pointless opinions on the films that give cinema meaning to you. I want to observe the world of horror and everything it encompasses, drawing conclusions on the unknown and what makes it tick.

Wrong or right, horror gives you a feeling that no other genre ever will. It taps in to our hidden fears and begins to mess with our fragile minds all in the name of entertainment. I say that we rebel against conformity and let horror take it’s place amongst us; accept that it is always there, lingering in the shadows and join me in a celebration of one of the greatest things about this world.

To horror!

Without it the imagination would be boring..