When the Lights Went Out (2012)

 |  Horror  |  14 September 2012 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 3,654 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 43 critic

Poltergeists attack a family in Yorkshire during the 1974 nationwide blackouts.



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Credited cast:
Man in Queue
Claire Catterson ...
Jacob Clarke ...
Hannah Clifford ...
Mr. Price
Morgan Connell ...
Matt Connor ...
Lute Player
Tasha Connor ...
Sean Corey ...
Woodwork Teacher
Hester Evans ...
Wayne Ewart ...
Smartly Dressed Man
Tracy Goodwin ...


Yorkshire, 1974. Britain is in recession, the oil crisis and black outs loom large. The Maynard family move into their dream house, only to find a "presence" already living there. Len, Jenny and their daughter Sally must struggle to keep their already-fragile family together as they are attacked by poltergeists. Soon it becomes apparent that Sally is their main focus of attention. The house becomes a living nightmare. They must exorcise the evil spirits for them to survive. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Set in 1974 and based on true events, When The Lights Went Out is the story of a down-to-earth Yorkshire family and the malevolent spirit who turns their existence upside down. See more »




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Release Date:

14 September 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Kada se Pogase Svetla  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Written and directed by the original haunting family's nephew, Pat Holden. See more »


The first time Sally goes to school she leaves the house with her hair in a pony tail, but when she's filmed inside the school bus her hair is down. See more »


Girls It Aint Easy
Written by Dunbar & Wayne
Published by Universal / MCA Music Ltd
Performed by Tracey Gee
See more »

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User Reviews

Not scary at all when the lights went out.
20 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw this at a preview screening tonight in London. Its a British supernatural haunted house film set in Yorkshire 1974 and is apparently based on a true story.

The 70s Britain backdrop is suitably done reflecting the country's financial struggles of its time and if you remember growing up in 70s Britain, there are some fond nostalgic touches to enjoy. The story, however is a typical haunted house affair. A working class family (mother, father and a thirteen year old daughter) moves into a new home in the suburbs. Of course the new home is haunted and aggressively so. The family becomes rather concerned about this little negative point....which unfortunately is the first of this film's many problems.

See, the family's reaction to the haunting is ridiculously flippant. They accept the haunting too easily, despite its obvious aggression. The family are mostly naive and unlikeable which doesn't help me root for them. The performance of the 13 year old is initially quite annoying in her mannerisms but she is deliberately playing a stroppy teenager who lacks self esteem and friends, and she portrays that well. She has just one school friend, who seems to be a much more accomplished little actress and was very charming. In fact, the film had more spark every time she was on the screen. The friendship drama with the children, their isolation and their struggles against bullies was actually far more interesting and captivating than the house haunting itself.

Which brings me to the films's biggest problem of all. If you have seen just a few supernatural films, then this wont likely scare you. Its not completely devoid of "boo" moments but there is absolutely nothing new here and its embarrassingly clichéd. Almost every attempted boo moment is lifted from classics such as Poltergeist, Sixth Sense, and Paranormal Activity but with inferior results and sometimes laughably ridiculous visuals that is too illogical even for a Loony Tunes cartoon. Perhaps the scares would be effective to complete virgins of supernatural films. Its possible that I may have seen too many supernatural films myself being a massive fan of the genre for these scare attempts to be effective on me but the scares here are still poorly executed and devoid of logic. I mean for Pete's sake, even the real ghosts will cringe and come out into the open to declare how mind numbingly silly the hauntings are in this film. I just know they would be saying: "we can shift stuff, make you cold, blow a breeze, play with lights and shadows but we don't do bleeding magic tricks".

It seems to me this film's success will be dependant on its "based on a true story" premise and its Yorkshire setting flavour.

There are some redeeming features about the film, I have already mentioned about the children's drama and nostalgic setting of 70s Britain but the film did also offer a surprising and most welcome period of comic relief towards the end which brought genuine chuckles out of me. I did enjoy that and felt relieved that the film had at least something more to offer. If only it could have given more of that kind of humour earlier to make up for the lack of effective scares.

There is no blood and gore by the way, in case you are concerned about that. And only one f-word is used (to comical effect actually) so, this might earn a rating of PG13. By all means still go see this, if you are very easily scared and are content to be scared for only one or two effective moments.

Being based on a true story might be a pulling factor but I personally think its a cop out.

I rate this 6/10...mainly for the captivating school friendship drama, the sudden burst of humour and for me personally, a retro nostalgia of 70s Britain. Scare factor scale, however, an abysmal zero.

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