Lights Out

Director:David F. Sandberg (2016) BBFC cert: 15

With slamming doors and shrieking spectres, the only scares this haunted house horror offers are its damnably shocking politics.

Teresa Palmer heads up the  likeable cast who all put in an efficient shift. She plays twenty-something Rebecca who lives next to a tattoo parlour.

She goes to the rescue of her step brother Martin and mother Sophie who are plagued whenever the lights go out by a hissing harpy, called Diana.

Young Gabriel Bateman looks suitably terrified and Mario Bello gives a fidgety performance, befitting of a character off their meds in a major way.

Diana is a long haired monster with superhuman strength but who burns in the light. The victim of a skin condition and medical malpractice, the harpy is obsessed with Sophie, her one time fellow psychiatric patient. The ghoul spends a lot of time scratching her name into floorboards and removing lightbulbs.

Having destroyed the adult male relationships in Sophie’s life, Diana now threatens Rebecca’s blossoming romance with a leather jacketed hunk.

At the heart of the Light’s Out paranoia is a conservative heterosexual male fear of lesbian threat to the traditional nuclear family.

Named after the goddess of love, Diana represents the coercive power lesbians are perceived to be able exert on ‘normal’ society. She is an obsessive, violent, ugly, deranged family destroying bogey-woman. It’s a regressive view bang in tune with current right wing rhetoric.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is I’ll never have to suffer this nonsense again.

@ChrisHunneysett

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