Though it may have traded a compelling story for jump scares and shock value, David Sandberg’s directorial debut Lights Out has hit the ground running, conjuring up a box office haul of $63.6 million worldwide – off the back of a $4.9 million budget, no less – along with a full-blown sequel at New Line.
But one point of contention that some viewers took issue with was the film’s eerie ending. It’s something that A.V. Club came down hard on in their review, prompting David Sandberg to issue a response to clarify his creative choice. We’ve included both the review extract and statement after the jump to safeguard you from spoilers.
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In the interest of context, A.V. Club’s critique stated: “So to kill the monster, she kills herself—an ending that felt, to this writer anyway, dangerously close to an endorsement of suicide as a way to free your family from the burden of your depression.”
Lending some clarity to that viewpoint, Sandberg noted that although Lights Out wrestles with the sensitive issue of depression, he never intended to outwardly endorse suicide in any form.
“When we were starting to talk about making a feature film out of ‘Lights Out,’ I figured I wanted to do something about depression, because I’ve suffered from depression for over a decade now. And I had a friend who committed suicide. To me, it’s the most terrifying thing there is. So I wrote this treatment for something that was a bit more arthouse, where it was very much an allegory for depression.
“The movie actually went on for almost 10 more minutes where we find out that this didn’t get rid of Diana, you know, and now depression has consumed Martin instead because his mom’s suicide affected him that much,” he said. “She came back one more time and they dealt with her once and for all.”
Also starring Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke and Maria Bello, Lights Out snuck into theaters on July 22.
Source: A.V. Club