In 2003, the PC game world was changed by a new and innovative game that really made a difference in the minds of the players. Max Payne 2 appeared and it was a true game changer in the fields of graphics and storyline; why are we mentioning this here? In the final scene of the game there is a quote that transcended that fictional world and became a mantra of the 2000’s: “I had a dream of my wife. She was dead, but it was all right." In Savannah Bloch’s 'Lights Out', the general feeling of the four minutes long short was very much alike, giving us goose bumps when we encountered the last scene that is indeed a game-changer in terms of short movies.
The story is, at first sight, simple – a mother talking on the phone turns off the lights in her kid’s room and the kid keeps turning them on. At first it seems playful and harmless, she goes back and forth from her room to the other to turn it off, but then the last scene comes in and everything changes. The whole perspective turns one hundred and eighty degrees and the viewer remains speechless.
The charm of this short is the shadow play. At first, when the woman goes to turn off the lights, the darkness that resides in her back may give us the impression that something bad is going to happen. The horror story background is set and we are waiting for the monster/criminal to pop. Also, the bed scenes are filmed in such a manner that the viewer can only expect the worst to happen. The main actress does an amazing job here impersonating the woman that ends up kneeled by her own inner demons.
Being filled with such emotions and a powerful back story, 'Lights Out' can easily go on our top ten all time mystery and suspense short movies, and we know for a fact that it will be hard for another short to come and fill its shoes anytime soon.
Written by Vlad A. G