When the Lights Went Out


Distinguished Member
I went to see a preview screening of When The Lights Went Out, this evening. Its a British supernatural haunted house film set in Yorkshire 1974 and is apparantly based on a true story.

If you have seen many supernatural films, I am quite sure this will bore you. There is absolutely nothing new here and its embarrassingly cliched. Almost every attempted boo moment is lifted from classics such as Poltergeist, Sixth Sense, Paranormal Activity but with vastly inferior results, laughably ridiculous visuals that dont make any sense and is too stupid even for a Loony Tunes cartoon.

The adult protagonists are the most naive and unlikeable sods you'll never want to root for. The performance of the child actor who plays the main victim of the haunting was initially quite annoying but I got used to her and I realise she's doing the best she can with her role. Her school friend on the other hand seemed a much more accomplished little actress and was very charming. The friendship drama with the children was far more interesting and captivating than the ridiculous house haunting.

Perhaps the scares would be effective to complete virgins of supernatural films but otherwise, this is one of the poorest, least frightening supernatural horror attempts I have seen for a while. Quite disappointed really, as I am not a very demanding film goer. I am a massive fan of supernatural horror, I love all the recent supernatural movies that have come out in the last couple of years, even the critically slated ones, Last Exorcist, Cabin in the Woods, The Pact, Intruders, Insidious, Paranormal Activity 3 and even Woman in Black which I though was very weak in its shock value but still far better than this sorry attempt.

I think the film is dependant on its "based on a true story" premise. But for Christ sake, even the real ghosts will cringe and come out into the open to declare how mind numbingly stupid the hauntings are in this film. I'm just speaking to one right now and its telling me "we can shift stuff, make you cold, blow a breeze, play with lights and shadows but we dont f***ing do Paul Daniel magic tricks".

But wait, I am not one to just dismiss and throw this in the bin just yet. It did offer a surprising and most welcome period of comic relief towards the end of the film which brought genuine chuckles out of me. I did enjoy that and felt relieved that the film had at least something to offer, if only it could have given more of that kind of humour earlier. At that point, I even hoped Simon Pegg and Nick Frost might turn up as a ghost busters...now there's a thought, if you working within the film industry can you plant an inception style idea in Edgar Wright's brain please. Pegg and Frost as ghost busters, must happen.

Sorry back to the movie, actually lets not go back to it, I've said enough about its major shortcomings and there isnt much else to lift it above redemption.

5/10...the 5 points are mainly for the school friendship drama, the sudden burst of humour and seeing Noel Edmonds hosting Top of the Pops and Tony Hart's Gallery on a vintage CRT television that looked just like what my Dad rented from Radio Rentals. Scare factor scale, an abysmal zero.

Film will be on general release from 7th September.
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Well-known Member

I'm sure there'll be at least two more sequels:

"When EDF Came And Reconnected Us", and "The Day The Lights Finally Came Back On". :D (Yes, I know I'm being silly...)



Distinguished Member
Just seen it and thought it was quite watchable. Very shallow with the scares but a fairly strong storyline and I thought the acting and 70's setting was good.

Press stop when you think the film should end though, the last 10 minutes are ridiculous :suicide:

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