Starring Maria Bello and Teresa Palmer, Lights Out offers a new twist on a familiar horror trope: a figure haunts someone when the lights go out. In this case, it’s actually the parent who is haunted by a terrifying figure instead of the child.
“I always figured it would be more scary if the parent has the invisible friend,” Sandberg explained on the panel. “It sort of started there, and then it turned into this whole story of dealing with your parents and family history.”
Bello, who plays haunted and schizophrenic character Sophie, gave the movie her vote of confidence; she watched it recently, and happily shared that she “watched it between my fingers.” “That’s when I knew it was pretty good,” she said. “For a horror film, it’s such a drama, and a family drama.”
She teased that the villainous, shadowy figure Diana, with whom Sophie has a history, might be more than meets the eye. Bello challenged viewers to really think about what Diana could be when they do see Lights Out, which hits theaters on July 22.
James Wan explained that he wanted to produce Lights Out with his production company Atomic Monster because it is a “fun horror film,” and because he wanted to give new filmmakers like Sandberg the types of opportunities he had when he was starting out with Saw.
“I want to start off making the type of horror films I loved when I grew up as a kid,” he said. “What’s so great about the horror genre is you can really take chances. You can take chances and try things you can’t otherwise try.”
Echoed producer Lawrence Grey, “I think you’re going to see a new horror villain unlike any you’ve seen before, and above all something really, really scary.”