Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Nonsensical, annoying "lost in the woods" horror movie.

Movie R 2015 85 minutes
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Since its debut in 1999, The Blair Witch Project has inspired dozens of imitations and knock-offs, but perhaps none so close to the source -- and yet so uninspired -- as NIGHTLIGHT. Baffling and constantly distracting, the movie uses flashlights as the "cameras" that record all action and sound. If the light goes out, the picture and sound both cut out. Whenever something "scary" appears, it's either obscured or gone too fast, thanks to the swishing, jerking effect.

Heavy-handed music and sound effects provide a sudden, percussive "WHAM!" every time we're supposed to be scared. Not one image or idea in the movie hasn't been used before, including the "character with his back to the camera" bit and the "camera" flying and landing cockeyed on the floor. The characters barely exist, their behavior is puzzling, and their reasons for being in the woods ("let's play a scary game!") are ridiculous. Perhaps worse, the movie clumsily uses teen suicide as a running theme. It's lights out for this one.

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