Monday, 18 February 2013

15 second review: When the Lights Went Out


I never thought I would see a film in which the children's game "Buckaroo!" was used as an object of terror. Then I saw When the Lights Went Out. 13 minutes in, a Slinky was meant to make me scream (instead I  questioned whether it was a joke). True story.
Rather than opting for the traditional route of spooky things happening and one stubborn individual remaining sceptical (despite overwhelming paranormal evidence), by 22 minutes into When the Lights Went Out the entire family are convinced they are haunted. Once the 24th minute elapsed, the ghost has befriended the initially inconsolable daughter-protagonist. Once 30 minutes had elapsed,  the family's circumstances were reported by an entirely convinced journalist. As a bonus, the father had begun, and then foreclosed his enterprising "haunted house guided tours" scheme. After 35 minutes, I had decided that there was no hope for a decent scare. The whole film is ramped at such a pace that it leaves little room to build atmosphere or creepiness. Still, top marks for the whole "Buckaroo!" thang.

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