"Lights Out" is a short film by David F Sandberg which has been pinging about on the internet lately, efficiently terrifying people in just over two and a half minutes. The premise is simple and classic - what if there was a figure that appeared when you switch off the lights? Whilst not wildly original, the idea is extremely well-executed - a strong feeling of claustrophobia is established in the corridor where a silhouette is first glanced, and we quickly gain sympathy for our nervous protagonist as she huddles under the covers, attempting to operate the lamp from the supposed safety of the bed. The shock payoff is effective, avoiding cliche with an unusually-designed look for the apparition - an extra layer of uncanniness by the fact that the same actress plays both parts.
I genuinely (and rather shamefully) hesitated a fair while when going to switch off my bedside lamp the evening that I watched this - irrefutable evidence of a scare well-delivered.
This film also makes the horrific and ethos-shattering suggestion that gaffer tape may be fallible. Truly terrifying...
For more of Sandberg's work see his website here.