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When the Lights Went Out (2012)

When the Lights Went Out (2012)

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5.6 82 votes

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Synopsis

Yorkshire, 1974, the Maynard family moves into their dream house. It’s a dream that quickly descends into a panic stricken nightmare as the family discovers a horrifying truth, a truth that will make the history books. The house is already occupied by the most violent poltergeist ever documented, a poltergeist that will tear you from your bed as you sleep and drag you helplessly into the darkness.

IMDb Rating 5.6 82 votes

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(78) comments

  • Jack BAugust 12, 2012Reply

    Based on a true story and set in 70s Yorkshire, Pat Holden’s ghost story is one heck of a promising piece of Horror/Comedy. The film is reasonably acted and delivered and triumphs in capturing the era in which it is set. The lashings of Horror offer some nice spine tingles (as well as the odd fresh idea) and the funny moments work quite nicely too- particularly a finale exorcist scene. True there are some troubled tone shifts throughout and an absolute hash of a finish really leaves a sour taste. Yet the film remains an interestingly dark and entertaining piece of low budget, British, genre hybridity.

  • Robbie DAugust 25, 2012Reply

    When the Lights Went Out held such good promise for a really great horror movie; sadly it failed to live up to the expectations.Set during recession hit 1974 Yorkshire, the film tells the story of the Maynard family, as we find them moving into their new house, within the typical Yorkshire estate. With a daughter who is extremely unhappy at being uprouted and friends who’s only task seems to be to keep the 70’s spirit rolling (no pun) and continue to remind us that this is supposed to be a recession.The story flows along, as strange and mysterious evens ensue; from an exploding tap to a clock thorwing itself down the stairs. When young Sally’s belongs find themselves back outside of the room she has taken, her parents see it as childish rebellion, but as time goes on, stanger acts start to occur and the family start to detect a defin ite presence. The story carries on from here, but this is not the problem for me.What I struggled with was the poor production values; from the multiple SKY satelite reception dishes scatter thorughout the estate, to the disjointed story telling. We get the feeling that the parents want to blame the child for what is going on, but the violent attacks on the child by the parents do not come across as warranted.For me this film failed to live up to the expectation and the failures to provide continuity and to ensure that the 21st century did not break the state of belief, made this film feel no better than an amature attempt on Channel 4…

  • Jamie KAugust 26, 2012Reply

    A British true story horror film set in Yorkshire, you might have high hopes but this is a run of the mill haunting movie that does not provide enough scares for your buck.

  • Dee LSeptember 12, 2012Reply

    Puh leese… This makes British film making look soo bad.

  • Martin CSeptember 14, 2012Reply

    While the film holds nothing orginal, the strength of the cast does lift out of what might be considered direct to DVD fare. A few well paced set pieces, 70s UK setting and fact that it relies on shadows and sounds for the scares rather than CGI, makes a quite pleasent change for this sort haunting horror fare.

  • Claire TSeptember 18, 2012Reply

    It was a great film and it interested me because it was based in Pontefract which is near where I live and before this film came out and had never heard of the the event before, would love it on DVD

  • John Joseph MSeptember 24, 2012Reply

    It’s hugely disappointing with an unconvincing climax.

  • The-Ian EOctober 8, 2012Reply

    I was excited to see this as I grew up in Pontefract hearing the legend of this haunting. I know the House it happened in and the place scared me to death, if the stories are true or not I don’t know but everyone in Pontefract knows the stories, the film starts well but over does it instead off giving a creepy tale they give us a cgi Hollywood finish that totally ruins some good performances from the actors involved disappointing and a shame as first half looked good.

  • anomaly .November 7, 2012Reply

    Starts off mildly entertaining and slowly becomes a cheesy joke.

  • Dany LNovember 9, 2012Reply

    English accents don’t make for a scary film. Kudos to the actors but this was lame-O.

  • Scott MNovember 11, 2012Reply

    always hood to see another horror thriller but this was very tame. priest was best part in the movie but apart from the last ten mins lot of the film quite predictable. ending confused me a bit also.

  • Gary TNovember 12, 2012Reply

    Just a typical ghost in a house with a family story. It was a nice change to not have it filmed from a camcorder.

  • Kristin RNovember 18, 2012Reply

    Hmmm…. not even a little bit scary or tense. I kept waiting for something to actually happen. Very poor as far as ghost stories go.

  • Shane PNovember 22, 2012Reply

    i loved this movie. it is very well made, shot, acted. definitely worth seeing.

  • Andy WNovember 29, 2012Reply

    brilliant makes you jump

  • Dennis LDecember 1, 2012Reply

    the movie should have said ” prepare yourself for the ultimate horrible experience”. Well it really wasn’t that bad. Just horrible.

  • Ricardo ADecember 10, 2012Reply

    Terrible acting mixed with cheesy plot makes When the lights went out a complete mess of a movie, carrying a lot of laughable moments.

  • Tim CDecember 11, 2012Reply

    Pretty Snazzy Poltergeist Movie

  • Katie WDecember 20, 2012Reply

    Standard fare, chilling at the very most, definitely not the scariest movie experience like its made out to be….

  • Moya WDecember 23, 2012Reply

    When the Lights Went Out was an unusual unpredictable horror movie and the interesting thing is that it’s actually based on a true story. I liked the fact that the horror started early on in the movie and that it included the team effort that horror movies rarely have. I liked the scenery and it was very well acted. Overall it was a different, but a good horror movie.

  • Tom EDecember 29, 2012Reply

    It turns up few surprises, but has a quaint, authentic feel about it that makes it a decent watch.

  • Steve FDecember 29, 2012Reply

    Boring British low budget horror movie.

  • Chris BJanuary 5, 2013Reply

    a take on the real life occurances of Pontefract, UK in the 1970’s.. If you can get past the amazing wallpaper, funky outfits and such like this actually leads into a good film. im normally sceptical about watching British films, as the majority are low budget crap but I was very suprised and found myself gripped. well worth a watch!

  • Ian LJanuary 6, 2013Reply

    More shocks than scares , not bad .

  • Richard CJanuary 7, 2013Reply

    BOOM, the LFE channel is used to devastating effect and Dario Argento’s suspiria score by Goblin in the docco is a nice touch.SEE THIS.

  • Lisa DJanuary 11, 2013Reply

    Quite a nice little movie. Liked the fact it was set in Yorkshire and had lovely quirky, believable characters. while I enjoyed it, I would have liked the scare factor to have been ramped up a bit. Still well worth a watch.

  • Wayne HJanuary 12, 2013Reply

    Best English horror film in years made me jump

  • Sophie-Lynne RJanuary 26, 2013Reply

    Very good, very jumpy!!!

  • Cat BJanuary 26, 2013Reply

    too many ‘jumpy’ scares, but it had it’s moments. worth a watch.

  • Mark TJanuary 27, 2013Reply

    Mildly entertaining British horror about an apparant true haunting on a council estate in the early 70s. Never manages to be remotely scary, is poorly paced at times. and the use of cgi is the cheapest I have seen, and looks ridiculous, but the film has a certain degree of intrigue for wannabe paranormal believers. Great attention to the style of the times. In fact it almost feels like a product placement ad for stuff from the 70s.

  • Lisa MJanuary 28, 2013Reply

    Had to watch this as its based on true story of house not more than 10 mins from me. I enjoyed it sounds wrong to say but I definitely thought it was quite good and had some very jumpy bits that were quite scary.

  • Bob RFebruary 1, 2013Reply

    Actually worse than the reviews would have you believe!

  • John AFebruary 3, 2013Reply

    This Extremely Enjoyable Brit Thriller May Get Bad Reviews Down To It’s Cheap Tricks & Somewhat Bad Script But I Found It A Lot Better Than What Critics Said It Was. Pat Holden’s Poltergeist Film Is Based On The True Story Of A Poltergeist Haunting In Yorkshire, England That Happened In 1974, & Stands Today As The Most Violent Poltergeist Haunting In Europe. The Script Is A Bit Dull & The Effects Are Cheap But The Storytelling, The Acting And The Atmosphere Are Up To Scratch In This Hugely Enjoyable Horror/Thriller.

  • Richard SFebruary 6, 2013Reply

    This is probably the only poltergeist movie where you’ll hear a character shout “bugger off” to an evil malevolent spirit! It’s supposedly based upon true events that occured in Yorkshire in the 1970s, whether you believe that or not it does not distract from the fact that this is one of the most entertaining ghost stories I’ve seen in a long time. It just has a sense of realism, it’s not as polished as the movies the Hollywood horror movie machine spews out and this adds to it’s charm. The effects are quite good for a fairly low budget British horror, there are a few genuinely scary scenes as well as occasional lighter moments with typical British humour.

  • Chris DFebruary 12, 2013Reply

    It’s been done before and this one doesn’t do it any better – When the Lights Went Out is just another in a long line of bad Exorcist rip-offs that’s sluggish, uninvolving and void of any thrills…has there ever been a horror produced where a family doesn’t move into a haunted house?

  • Graham CFebruary 16, 2013Reply

    Couple of creepy moments but other than that all a bit tedious and boring!

  • Jim AFebruary 21, 2013Reply

    Very good british ghost story based on a haunting in Yorkshire in the 70’s,cast do a really good job and there are some bits that will make your blood run cold.A must for anyone that enjoys a ghost story

  • Paul BMarch 2, 2013Reply

    Not a bad Old style English horror. Worth a watch.

  • Bloodmarsh KMarch 5, 2013Reply

    I think the scariest moment in the film, and boy, were there many – was when the ‘malevolent spirit’ started playing with the slinky – I mean, really, how did William Friedkin miss out on that one back in 1973?

    His loss.

  • Sue WMarch 5, 2013Reply

    I enjoyed it, an it was apparently a true story. well kind of, it was great how they did it. liked it.

  • Alejandro SMarch 7, 2013Reply

    No tenía grandes expectativas sobre este filme británico pero algo me hizo verlo de todos modos. Por dicha lo hice, porque realmente me gustó y mucho. Basado en hechos reales sobre un caso poltergeist en Inglaterra en los 70’s, y además el director del filme es sobrino de la mujer que vivió en esa casa. Todavía no entiendo para qué cambiaron el apellido de la familia, ya que por lo que estuve revisando, el caso ha sido bien documentado y hasta apareció en periódicos, pero debido a algunos elementos controversiales sobre todo con respecto a miembros de la Iglesia, supongo que al cambiar el apellido, pueden alegar que es simplemente un guión en caso de una demanda por difamación. Regresando al filme, no tiene actores conocidos, pero todo el cast hace un muy buen trabajo personificando sus papeles. La dirección es muy acertada. La música es justo la indicada para meterte en la trama. Y los efectos especiales más que satisfactorios. Todo son gustos, pero en mi opinión muy personal, puedo decirles que no le hagan caso a las bajas calificaciones que ha sufrido este filme, si lo ven en su video club, alquilenla, les gustará mucho.

  • Anna CMarch 10, 2013Reply

    A ghost movie, not scaring at all.

  • Gregory KMarch 21, 2013Reply

    Really creepy… I’ll never look at swinging ceiling lights in the same way…

  • PierLuigi FApril 2, 2013Reply

    very indie, low budget and home-cooked. Just good for a sat-night creep

  • PierLuigi FApril 2, 2013Reply

    very indie, low budget and home-cooked. Just good for a sat-night creep

  • Adrian ZApril 3, 2013Reply

    Brooding thirteen year and her family move into a house that is unknowingly very much haunted. Based on a “true story”, a quick wikipedia check seems to indicate the plot is somewhat different to the actual source, but director Pat Holden claims to be the nephew of one of the persons who experienced what is considered Britain’s worst poltergeist haunting, and has wanted to make this project ever since he was a child. Sadly, the film doesn’t live up to the worst of anything. It often plays out like horror for young adults, often being uncomfortably silly. It does have some jumpy moments, but there is nothing new. Some scenes awkwardly aim for humour, others explore teen angst, which with the help of young Natash Connor’s haunting performance, do work and provide the film with its best moments.

  • Manish MApril 6, 2013Reply

    British flick based in small town in 1974. With all the ingredients to make a proper shit ya self movie, the end result was a simple tale of bumps in the dark. And ending from Thunder Cats; I thought Liono and Mumra were gonna make a guest appearance.

  • Gary SMay 1, 2013Reply

    What shit was this? Terrible film especially seeing its based on a true story

  • Barry TMay 12, 2013Reply

    This was a good 70’s looking Brit thriller horror. Its jumpy and creepy and the kid in the lead role is great. The last 30 mins are rubbish so it ruins all the build up before. Great attention to detail though

  • Alex WMay 25, 2013Reply

    A beautiful film! Really well done, probably the best horror I’ve seen to date

  • Ceith DMay 29, 2013Reply

    worth a watch but not a great horror.

  • Claudette AJune 8, 2013Reply

    Nothing much to this movie. It wasn’t exactly a paranormal thriller.

  • Paul CJune 15, 2013Reply

    Finally a decent poltergiest movie and it british too! thoroughly enjoyed it. Cracking performances and really good “TRUE” story.

  • Luciano GJune 16, 2013Reply

    If you enjoy a proper horror movie that involves ghosts and hauntings, then “When the Lights Went Out” is well worth a watch…..though, this is hardly the type of movie that you’ll watch a second time around once you’ve seen it the first time….

  • Josías GJune 28, 2013Reply

    La verdad es que es genérica una más del grupo de películas de fantasmas que pretende espantar pero termina siendo una historia anecdótica, luego el personaje del padre ambicioso da a entender que igual y la historia fue ficticia.

  • Richard RAugust 7, 2013Reply

    I’m not a huge fan of British movies to be honest, mostly because they seem to romantic dramadies or family dramadies which revolve around working class folk in the North of England and are usually set in the seventies. It gets real old, real fast. It made me apprehensive going into When the Lights Went Out, but ironically that was the part of the movie that never really bothered me. But the creepy overly interested teacher, the slow and confusing development of the haunting and the pointlessly overblown finale all left me feeling very cold. It’s a shame because it could have been better. The acting is superb which is a shame because the writing left much to be desired. I will admit though, I did like the coal-room scene. Shame it never got as good as that again.

  • Jules SNovember 20, 2013Reply

    certainly not as bad as review suggest

  • Stu MNovember 22, 2013Reply

    I don’t understand why so many modern day horror films ruin a good film with a crap ending WHY?

  • Danielle CJanuary 18, 2014Reply

    Not like all the other films on exorcism or ghosts. It’s one you can really believe (helps with it being based on a true story I suppose) but it really grabs your attention. It made me jump off the sofa a few times too. One of the best supernatural films I’ve ever seen.

  • J KJanuary 27, 2014Reply

    A good little British film, capturing the essence of the era with a ghostly tale to tell. The fact that it’s based in a council house rather than an archetypal old creaky house may bring this closer to home and add something to unsettle the viewer. Worth a watch.

  • Karl GJanuary 29, 2014Reply

    Oddly watchable but not scary. Didn’t realise it was based of a true story when I watched it though!

  • Ellen GApril 9, 2014Reply

    Skal visst være basert på en sann historie fra 70-tallet. Ganske ekkel til tider.

  • Jorge GApril 27, 2014Reply

    LA POSESIÓN DE SALLY – ALGO MÁS CERCANO A ESTA REALIDAD

  • Bryan PJanuary 25, 2015Reply

    When the lights went out sees a couple and there daughter move house in the 70s. Soon they learn they are not alone in the house as strange things occur in the house. Things start getting worse and they venture into seeking professional help. True story set in Pontefract

  • Chris BJanuary 25, 2015Reply

    a bit of chilly fluff. reasonably acted even if we’ve seen it all before, many, many times.

  • Michael HJanuary 26, 2015Reply

    When will moviemakers realise that just because you ‘borrow’ scenes straight out of big hits like The Amityville Horror and The Exorcist, doesn’t necessarily make your ‘based on a true story’ film any more interesting?

  • Manus SJanuary 28, 2015Reply

    When The Lights Went Out is supposedly based on a true story. one that I’ve never heard of before.

    The movie is a wonderful piece if you’re into retro 70s icons as everything from Slinkies and Buckaroo to Noel Edmonds gets referenced. because of this, and the believable family conveyed by the main cast, there’s something remarkably cozy about this for a horror film.

    The downside to this means that the scares, when they do come, aren’t that scary and unfortunately most you can see coming a mile away. but there are some decent chilling moments in it.

    This is a British horror, and it wears its heart truly on its sleeve. There are too many cultural references for a non UK resident to ‘get’ and it feels like an episode of ‘Hammer House of Horror’ just not as gory as that 70s TV gem.

    There are also a couple of characters who appear in the movie who appear important to the plot, then just as quickly disappear.

    It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not that great either, hence its 2.5 stars.

  • Paul DJanuary 30, 2015Reply

    A little rough and ready with the way it deals with the haunting of the semi-detached in Yorkshire, but the film makers have excelled with the look and ambiance of 1970’s Britain

  • John OFebruary 1, 2015Reply

    The Yorkshire gripper. An actually not too bad Yorkshire horror!

  • Shane FFebruary 5, 2015Reply

    Not as bad as some of the reviews made out. Easy watching if you’ve nothing to do for a while.

  • Ashley DFebruary 6, 2015Reply

    It’s strange to hear a Yorkshire accent in a horror movie it was worth watching not particularly scary but just enough to keep my interested

  • Karsh DFebruary 18, 2015Reply

    For a British not too big a budget horror/chiller, it wasn’t that bad. Based on a true story about a Yorkshire family dealing with a poltergeist back in the 70’s

  • Brian CMarch 16, 2015Reply

    Good story, but so slow.

  • Geoff JApril 10, 2015Reply

    70s fashion plus ghosts = scary

  • Dani WAugust 9, 2015Reply

    the style and story were well thought through and presented! easy watch chilling with the background of being a ‘true’ story. really enjoyed

  • Michelle ADecember 30, 2015Reply

    Only watched it because it’s local. True story my arse!

  • Simon RFebruary 13, 2016Reply

    Decent scarefest. Enjoyed it.

  • Dale RFebruary 25, 2016Reply

    Not sure why this gets such negative reviews : excellent tale.

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