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Starting today, David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out arrives in theaters everywhere, and at the recent press day for the film, we had the chance to catch up with the director as well as his wife and creative partner, Lotta Losten, to hear about their amazing journey from Sweden to Hollywood. The pair chatted about their inspirations, stepping onto a film set for the first time, and how technology has made this one of the best times ever to be a filmmaker.
Congrats on the film, guys. What kind of material did you grow up on that may have influenced your creative path or the material that you’re now interested in writing or directing?
David F. Sandberg: I grew up watching lots »
- Heather Wixson
Anyone hoping to make a commercially successful horror movie that also plays well with critics should be paying close attention to James Wan. The director of “Saw,” “Insidious,” and “The Conjuring” has been responsible for some of the most profitable and well received horror films of the past decade, and is still very much in his prime, having released the box office smash “The Conjuring 2” just last month. Wan has also been staying extremely busy as a producer, most recently producing David Sandberg’s horror feature debut “Lights Out,” which hits theaters Friday. The Warner Bros. title is based on a short film of the same name Sandberg wrote and directed in 2013.
- Graham Winfrey
Teresa Palmer has commitment issues as Rebecca in Lights Out, a new horror film produced by James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious) and directed by David F. Sandberg in his feature film directorial debut, but its not because she’s a floozy. Palmer wanted to make that clear with a single line of dialogue she suggested to the writers for a pivotal scene in which the audience is first introduced to Rebecca. Palmer tells CineMovie why she thought it was important to make the distinction. Listen to the interview below.
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- email@example.com (Super User)
Paramount’s “Star Trek Beyond” is dominating the U.S. box office, blasting off for an impressive weekend of as much as $60 million at 3,928 locations, early estimates showed Friday.
It’s a solid start for the 13th film in the durable franchise, following a summer that’s seen notably disappointing performances from several sequels.
That negative trend appears to be dragging down Fox’s animated comedy “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which looks to under-perform in the $22 million range at 3,992 venues. The fifth “Ice Age” movie may wind up trailing the third weekend of “Secret Life of Pets” and the second weekend of “Ghostbusters” in a battle for second place.
New Line’s low-cost horror-thriller “Lights Out” is overperforming with initial estimates showing a debut between $15 million and $20 million at 2,818 sites.
“Star Trek Beyond,” the third film in the rebooted sci-fi series, opens Friday at 3,928 sites and appears to be performing in line with projections. »
- Dave McNary
Lights Out, 2016.
Directed by David F. Sandberg
Plagued by an entity that only reveals itself when the lights are out, Rebecca and her little brother, Martin, work to find a way to rid their house of the spirit that is only tied to this world through their mother.
Following the same architectural design as other infamous jump scare horror films, Lights Out stands out among the overwhelming volume of films that flood this genre as a diamond in the rough. It should be safe to say that Sanberg’s first full length directorial debut has landed him instant recognition despite the film possessing such a weak narrative. Following in the wake of the 2016 jump scare horror flop, The Forest, Sanberg’s film graced the genre with little to no expectations of being good. For the few that remember the »
- Joshua Gill
The short that inspired it packs more frights into its 3+ minutes of running time.
At the root of all fears lies the dread of the unknown that hides and bides its time in the dark. Exploiting this ground zero human anxiety, David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out strips the bells and whistles from a basic notion and turns darkness itself –or an entity empowered by it– into a relentless villain. Perhaps because its premise is too simple to a fault, the scribe Eric Heisserer, working off of an identically-titled 2013 short film by Sandberg, stuffs an unconvincing “troubled child” back-story beneath the film’s intriguing yet thin shell. The result is neither effectively frightening nor persuasive. The feature-length Lights Out is your typical below-average horror flick in a lot of ways: some successful jump scares, an undercooked script, and shaky dialogue you’re occasionally willing to forgive in exchange of competent direction and random moments of comic relief »
- Tomris Laffly
Star Trek Beyond and Ice Age: Collision Course top @TannerZee's list of what to watch this week!Star Trek Beyond and Ice Age: Collision Course top @TannerZee's list of what to watch this week!Tanner Zipchen7/22/2016 10:00:00 Am
This week we have a double dose of space-related issues, and some skeletons in the closet that have come back to life.
Manny and Diego? Check. Sid and Scrat? Yup. All the new Ice Age characters along the way? They’re back too! And you can also assume that Scrat, once again, has something to do with what’s happening in Ice Age: Collision Course. In an attempt to hide his acorn, Scrat awakens an ancient alien ship that transports him deep into space where he happens to bump into a few asteroids and put them on a collision course with Earth. Back on Earth, Manny and Sid are dealing with problems of their own, »
- Tanner Zipchen
Within the first five minutes of David F. Sandberg’s feature film debut, “Lights Out,” an understandably addled character has managed to figure out the primary rule of engaging with the freaky spectre haunting him: She disappears when illuminated. Even while being chased around an appropriately creepy textile factory (is it really necessary to have that many slump-shouldered mannequins just hanging out?) by a stringy-haired and sharp-clawed monster, Paul (Billy Burke) can still figure out what it is that keeps the baddie at bay, a realization that Sandberg telegraphs to both his character and his audience with the minimum of time.
Too bad then that Sandberg can’t keep such a simple and clever premise going during the relatively slim 80 minute runtime of his film, a horror offering that suffers immensely from wicked rule-bending and a disregard for the snappy chills that initially recommend it.
Read More: ‘Lights Out’ Trailer: »
- Kate Erbland
A solid hook is one of the biggest factors in what makes a successful film pitch. This doesn’t guarantee a film will end up being good, but it’s a place that can start you off on the right path. Perhaps this is why it is becoming increasingly common to find shorts turned into feature-length films. District 9 and Whiplash each had humble beginnings as short films, helping to draw attention to financing for their feature-length treatment. Lights Out is no different and it succeeds largely because director, David F. Sandberg allows the world to expand beyond his excellent short and become something much more disturbing.
The general premise is simple: when you turn out the light, something appears in the shadows. Even now, typing this out, I’m treated to goosebumps. When you flick the light back on, the apparition is gone. It may not even notice you »
- Bill Graham
Anything could be lurking in the darkness. Imagining what could be hiding in the shadows opens a door to all sorts of nightmarish visuals. Horror films frequently fall back on characters nervously peering into the dark unknown, while audiences grip the armrests with sweaty palms. It’s an effective horror tool that will continue on film after film long after the lights turn back on in the theater.
Lights Out builds an entire film around the threat of sleeping without a nightlight. It’s a simple enough idea that could then be taken in many directions. David Sandberg builds upon his own 2 and a half minute short film in such a way that the wealth of possibilities hiding in the darkness has now become rather limited. In the process of creating a more personal and dramatic story, he has actually restricted the depth of what the darkness can hold.
Growing up, »
- Michael Haffner
Why do we still get scared at thing that go bump in the night? At the movies, I mean. Lights Out, the feature-length (well, 80 minutes) film version of a horror short that went viral online, allows Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg to earn his stripes as a director in the big leagues. It was horror master James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) who gave Sandberg the go-ahead for a $5 million feature.
Plot: A young woman (Teresa Palmer) has to confront a dark family secret when a malevolent spirit starts haunting her estranged mother (Maria Bello) and brother (Gabriel Bateman). Review: One of the cool things about the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal is how broad the genre flicks they present wind-up being. While it would be tempting to say that the Fantasia crowd is mostly fed higher-brow horror (The... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
For July, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list below, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for July 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, July 22. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Director: Galen T. Chu, Mike Thermeier
Synopsis: Scrat’s epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. »
- Steve Greene
One thing I always look forward to when going to any horror movie, is seeing.... well, mostly hearing, how the audience reacts. While I love movies like The Witch, which is so engrossing and intense that you can hear a pin drop in the theater, I really adore movies that scare the s--t out of people, to the point where I can hear their reactions. For me, the more unusual and natural the reactions are a sign that this particular movie is quite effective, and the reactions I heard during Lights Out made it so much more fun, for me anyway. I'm not sure how much fun it was for the woman, who let out piercing shrieks every time a jump-scare moment happened and would rapidly stomp her feet on the ground like Thumper, but it was just one of many reasons why I loved Lights Out.
I didn't know »
Modesty is an underappreciated virtue, especially in horror movies. Lights Out revolves around a frightening idea: turn out the lights and something sinister appears. Turn on the lights and the something disappears. A few years ago, filmmaker David F. Sandberg captured the idea perfectly in a short film, which ran less than three minutes. But how to expand that nugget into a feature film? The opening sequence of the feature version establishes the premise splendidly, as a factory manager named Paul (Billy Burke) must confront the disturbing phenomenon. Flash forward in time and Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) is introduced. She's in a relationship with Bret (Alexander Dipersia) but steadfastly reluctant to commit to anything more than a casual affair. Rebecca, to be frank, looks like she's...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
Arriving in theaters everywhere this weekend, Lights Out is set to terrify audiences and give fans a new reason to fear the dark. The film was one of my favorites at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, which is why I was eager to catch up with the movie’s producer, Lawrence Grey, at the recent press day to talk about his initial impressions of director David F. Sandberg’s original short film, the process of adapting the concept of Lights Out for the big screen, where they’d like to take a sequel if all goes well with this release, and more.
Congrats on the film, Lawrence. I had a chance to see it at the La Film Festival and had so much fun with it. I loved »
- Heather Wixson
It all started out as a short film by David F. Sandberg and about two years later, “Lights Out” finally premiered as a fully fleshed-out feature film, which gives a creepy outline of a villain’s backstory. Star Maria Bello voiced at the film’s Wednesday night premiere at Tcl Chinese Theatre that Diana, the film’s villain, will surely be a staple in horror movie lore.
“I think people at Comic-Con will be dressed up as Diana next year. Just the way she moved her hands and shoulders I think created an entire beast. I think her creature will transcend time and will be like a Freddy Krueger or a Jason,” said Bello, who stars as Sophie.
“It made my job a lot easier! »
- Maria Cavassuto
Admit it, you’ve been spooked by the dark. A confusing shadow, an unexplained sound, something your blurry vision thought it saw. The absence of light strikes directly into human fear: that we are unable to perceive the world around us. Lights Out, the latest horror movie churned out by the scarily greedy Hollywood Machine that knows these movies deliver bang for their buck, exploits this universal anxiety into a series of jolting jumps and screams. But for all that works well in Lights Out (restraint, acting, scares) it’s challenging to look past the characters’ foolish behavior. You may be scared when the lights go off, but you’ll be impressed only if the lights are also turned off upstairs before taking your seat.
- J Don Birnam
From producer James Wan comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up she was never really sure of what was and what wasn't real when the lights went out. Now her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threaten her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), 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.
At a recent press day in Los Angeles Maria Bello and Teresa Palmer spoke to Latino Review about their roles in this intense horror/suspense thriller, getting into the scared mind set, the physicality of the film, »
- Fernando Esquivel
When the first trailer for David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out surfaced, I feared that we’d have another Annabelle situation on our hands. Translation: James Wan would produce a film where the director simply tries to mimic Wan’s signature style. It’s easy to get lost in current trends that seem to be working, especially for a blockbuster rookie. So, how does Wan’s protégé fare? Well, Sandberg proves early and often that he’s no WANnabe horror stud – he’s here to kick some genre ass.
Lights Out lunges from the darkest, deepest reaches of enjoyable horror masochism (why do we love scaring ourselves to death?), and dismantles a whole host of tired clichés with ease. “First-time filmmakers make silly genre mistakes!” or “Shorts always make for weak feature adaptations!” or “Mainstream horror is a dying artform!” – nope, not here, and definitely not. Sandberg deviously delivers one helluva cracked-out haunted attraction, »
- Matt Donato
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