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Lights Out (PG) ***

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    Horror movies are meant to chill. And kill. You just know you’re in trouble when at times near the start of a film audiences giggle – unless it’s a comedy. Alas this is the fate that follows Lights Out, a rather tepid thriller from Warmer Brothers hoping for converts at various Cineplex  Odeon sites across B.C. Best of luck rallying the masses with franchise juggernauts Star Trek and Jason Bourne looming sort of large on the horizon.

    And having a respected name like horror guru James Wan on the marquee is no guarantee  for success. Like the title says Lights Out refers to some strange goings on when in the dark. Ghosts come  n all shapes and sizes as witness to the little comical Ghostbusters. Forget about the movie competition here. Our on hour and twenty-two minute story is mostly confined to a house where a mom lives with her young son.

    Mario Bello acts just fine as an on edge mom Sophie  trying to cope with some “mental” issues that is driving her kid around the bend. Good casting as the hard as nails though scaredy cat son Martin sees Gabriel Bateman.

    Mean spirits can be anywhere. With this kid falling behind and going stir crazy like mom it’s up to big sis Rebecca to return home like a knight in shining armour to save the day. Well, not so fast. Just fine as not quite ready for time motherhood as the poster child for good parenting is Teresa Palmer due largely to her min-conventional lifestyle.

    How this family of misfits come together or falls apart is part of the engagement In Lights Out. Alas, it turns out to be a simple story of a haunted house with some screwy inhabitants. Not exactly prime time fodder for the thrill seekers set.

    By Alan Samuel

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