Don’t feed a Gremlin after midnight. Keep the curtains closed. Never take a ventriloquist dummy on vacation. The simpler the rules in a horror movie, the more fun it is to watch characters inexplicably break them. (Less fun are movies in which the rule list is long and seemingly arbitrary.) The trailer for Lights Out dropped today at Wondercon, Deadline reports, and even as a trailer, inspires a lot of “Why are you doing that, don’t do that, that’s the one thing you shouldn’t do!” yelling at the screen.
The film stars Teresa Palmer as a woman haunted by the ghost of a childhood friend—the kind of friend who carried an umbrella on sunny days and brushed her hair over her face, The Ring-style, judging from a quick shot of an old photo. The catch is she only appears when—you guessed it—the lights are out. As a screenwriting challenge, getting the lights to keep going out must have rivaled eliminating cell phones. (Maybe there’s a cameo from The Cheat?) The film, produced by The Conjuring’s James Wan, is the feature debut of Swedish director David F. Sandberg. Sandberg was hired on the strength of the horrifying short film he made with the same premise, starring his wife Lotte Losten (who also appears in the feature). Whether or not he can sustain 90 minutes of people turning out the lights, there’s no denying it works for three minutes. So why not turn on all the lights and start your Saturday night with some sheer terror?