lights out trailer

There is no fear as primal as fear of the dark. It’s the foundation upon which all other fears are built and the support structure for the horror genre. Bad stuff happens when the lights go out. Human beings have evolved to know this. We don’t have to be taught that stuff goes bump in the night. We understand this in the core our inner selves.

So yeah, Lights Out looks scary, taking our inherent fear of darkness and saying “Yep, there is indeed a gangly ghost-monster that means you harm lurking the shadows.” The new trailer shows off a horror movie that looks creepy and promising, carved out of the same mold as Insidious and The Conjuring (which makes sense, since James Wan is a producer on this film).

Lights Out is the feature debut of director David F. Sandberg and hopefully the final film lives up to the creepiness of this trailer. The horror genre is always in need of new blood. The basic concept here is so simple that I’m shocked it hasn’t been utilized again and again: a family is stalked by a terrifying ghost that can only manifest in darkness. If you turn on a light, she vanishes. Of course, exiting in a constant state of light turns out to be easier said than done.

This project began its life as a short film, written and directed by Sandberg, that’s built around the same premise and clocks in at under three minutes. There’s no dialogue and no character development, but it’s still tense and unsettling, climaxing with a jump scare that’s so good that it’s no wonder producer James Wan helped shepherd it to feature length. If you’d like to know more, Sandberg spoke about his process of expanding the short to feature length at WonderCon earlier this year.

Here’s the official synopsis:

From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

Lights Out opens on July 22, 2016.

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