Friday, October 16, 2015
Every Haunting Hour Ever #19: Lights Out
Original Airdate: April 23, 2011
Director: Neil Fearnly
You know, some people believe in ghosts while others don't. There have been plenty of ghost hunting shows that claim to prove that ghosts and/or the supernatural exists. Despite the evidence that these shows capture, there are still people who are skeptical about the existence of the supernatural. Why is this you may ask? Well some skeptics claim that it's nothing more than behind the scenes tricks like photoshopping shadows or other objects into the frame, using pseudoscience, etc.
Teddy (Gabriel Basso) does not believe in ghosts, and postulates that the various ghost hunting shows are all fake. He wants to prove that he can fake a ghost hunting experience and make his footage look just as realistic as those he's seen on television, so he, his sister Haley, and his friend Sean go to a supposedly-haunted asylum with a video camera in order to hoax their own ghostly encounter.
One of the things that I think makes this episode good is how well they pay homage to ghost hunting shows. I think this comes from the fact that the episode slowly engulfs the viewer into the environment with its heavy and eerie atmosphere that makes them feel vulnerable. The terms and rules used in typical ghost hunting shows, such as EVP, The fact that batteries die when ghosts are around, etc, are rather well placed and makes it seem as though the writers did a fair amount of research on the topic of ghost hunting. Heck, there are even moments where they use a night vision camera and actually show what the characters are seeing from that perspective!
The other thing that makes this episode good is how well the scares are pulled off. I think in combination with the heavy atmosphere, the scares prey on the viewer's feeling of vulnerability that the episode sets up. Because of this, scares that would normally be panned such as jump scares, become effective in frightening the viewer. I also have to give credit where credit is due. They even take something that would normally be considered laughable, such as a gurney that stalks the main characters, and actually made it kind of terrifying.
Honestly, the only issue I have with the episode is the ending. Like in Game Over and Catching Cold, we get one of those "History will repeat itself" kind of endings. For me, I find these endings to be a bit predictable and in the case of this episode, it might have been more unnerving if it had ended with Teddy shouting the words "Lights Out" over and over, have a still exterior shot of the asylum, and then just cut to the credits.
Overall, Lights Out is a very entertaining and terrifying episode of the series. After watching something like Pool Shark, I'm very impressed by how well the series was able to bounce back from that blunder in terms of quality.
Overall Grade: B+