When the Lights Went Out is yet another haunted house horror film, this time set in mid-1970’s Yorkshire. Apparently based on true events, the plot revolves around the ghostly activities which supposedly occurred in the home of Joe and Jean Pritchard in the town of Pontefract.
This is Director Pat Holden’s third feature length outing, and he has a personal emotional investment in the material this time around – Jean Pritchard is his Aunt. This has not stopped him from including material which is one hundred percent fabricated though. Reports of cold rooms, moving objects, and, most severely, physical apparitions of a hooded figure have been amalgamated into predictable scenes of demonic ghost eyes in keyholes and dead corpses under duvets.
Within the sequences where special effects are at a minimum, some genuinely nervous tension is created. A thoroughly authentic beige and brown ‘70’s Yorkshire creates the perfect setting and mostly convincing performances are only let down by a few moments of poor dialogue and unbelievable characterisation.
…poor quality special effects…
Swerving away from realism into generic horror clichés are forgiven until the finale, where poor quality special effects are opted for over subtlety and originality in a bid to create a ‘powerful’ ending.
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