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Lights Out

Posted on August 2, 2016

Lights Out: Living life while trying to stay in control.


PG-13   |   2016   |   David Sandberg   |   81 min   |   (USA)

If you are looking for a review of the film, you won’t find it here (but you will find plot spoilers so proceed with caution). While I found the film worthwhile, I was more captivated by the function of the monster rather than the storyline. Therefore, this piece focuses on the monster rather than the movie. It was clear to me that the film’s underlying narrative is about the struggles of living life with a major depressive disorder.[1] However, I could not help but see the film two-fold with the antagonist Diana (Alicia Vela-Bailey) serving both as a manifestation of Sophie’s (Maria Bello) debilitating depression as well as her abusive partner.[2] Let me elaborate.

In order for me to better explain my point of view, let’s review some of the background. Sophie grew up struggling with depression which led to a childhood admission to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. While in this hospital, Sophie meets Diana and forges a friendship as healthy as a host to its succubus. Diana is in the hospital for manipulating her father into killing himself by inserting her thoughts into his head. Once in the hospital, Diana locates her next plaything in the form of Sophie, and, as we come to see, Diana plays for keeps. During a mishap in the hospital, Diana passes away and somehow becomes fused into Sophie’s psyche. Read more

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