Horror fan Teresa Palmer relishes scary scenes in ‘Lights Out’

One of the most globally recognized actresses today, Teresa Palmer (“Warm Bodies,” “The Choice,” “Point Break”) now stars in New Line Cinema’s horror-thriller “Lights Out,” in Philippine cinemas Thursday, July 21.

When Rebecca (Palmer) left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out… and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), has re-emerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

“I’m a huge horror fan, so I was excited to be a part of this,” says Palmer. “It’s petrifying. The monster in `Lights Out’ is what your nightmares are made of. She truly is the scariest thing you can imagine. I think we equate fear with a dark energy and she’s as dark as you can possibly get, from the way she looks to the way she interacts with the characters in the film. She’s just a total nightmare.”

But as much as there is dysfunction and pain here, there is also love – which, in its way, amplifies the peril for all of them. “Outside the scares,” adds Palmer, “it’s a great dramatic story about a family that’s been derailed by this entity.”

First impressions of Rebecca would indicate a fiercely independent young woman; smart, unsentimental, and hard as nails. Always on her guard. “She comes across as a fighter with a tough exterior,” producer Lawrence Grey says, “but, through the course of the story, we see the sensitivity and compassion inside. Growing up, Rebecca had problems – the kind of problems you don’t talk about.”

Consequently, director David F. Sandberg adds, “She has commitment issues and other difficulties she’s dealing with, because she just never got over what happened when she was a child. Teresa is amazing in bringing all of this to bear in her performance. Her emotions feel so real.”

Going home is certainly not on Rebecca’s agenda. But when she gets a call from the Child Services case worker at her brother’s school, concerned that young Martin has been falling asleep in class, Rebecca has a fair idea what’s been keeping him up at night. What she once tried to rationalize as her own bad dreams and imagination, she now realizes must have been real if it’s happening to him. And if Martin is dealing with the same malevolent force that drove her from the house at 16, she can’t let him face that alone.

“I appreciate the vibrancy that remains in Rebecca, despite all the hardships she’s had to navigate,” Palmer says of her character. “She is clearly wounded by her past, but there’s a determination in her to fight and persevere, regardless of the cards she’s been dealt. Running was the easiest option when it was her alone, but now that she needs to protect Martin she’s ready to get in there and take on whatever it is that’s got him in its grip.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, July 21, 2016, “Lights Out” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

How new director turned viral his short film ‘Lights Out’ into full-length horror feature

Barely two years ago, 35-year-old Swede David F. Sandberg was a debt-ridden wannabe filmmaker who had never held a steady job, let alone made a feature. He had been rejected by the Swedish Film Institute even for a relatively modest shorts investment. He and his wife, Lotta Losten, got by in part on her salary as an employee.

But a short film the couple made in their apartment in Sweden — about a woman who sees a scary supernatural creature only when the lights are out — changed their fortunes. The piece was made for a contest run by the horror website Bloody Disgusting. Less than three minutes long, with no dialogue or budget (Losten played both the woman and the apparition), “Lights Out” unexpectedly went viral via Reddit — nearly a year after they made it.

As the online legend of “Lights Out” began to grow, Hollywood agents and producers took notice, culminating in New Line/Warner Bros. making a feature deal. When the resultant movie premiered last June at the Los Angeles Film Festival ahead of its July 22 theatrical release, “Lights Out” concluded one of the most improbable of modern filmmaking journeys.

“I had a long-term plan to make these little shorts,” Sandberg said, “and maybe we could prove to the Swedish Film Institute that we knew we what we’re doing, and get money for a longer short, and then eventually money for a Swedish feature.”

He paused. “It’s been interesting to skip all those steps.”

“Lights Out” (the full-length feature) centers on twentysomething Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) and her pre-adolescent brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman), whose mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), suffers from a disassociative mental illness that has her talking to a friend no one else sees. When Rebecca and Martin start spotting an apparition in the dark, they wonder if they too are suffering from a disorder. They set out to discover the truth.

Sandberg had come up with the idea on a whim, as he thought about those innocuous bedroom silhouettes that look more ominous in the midnight dark. He was soon playing with the effects (simple, involving a split screen) and turning the lights on and off.

“It’s something everyone experiences,” Sandberg said. “I was almost surprised no one had explored it before.”

He was truly taken aback, though, when months later, in spring 2014, the short went everywhere. “Someone had linked to it on Reddit. I saw it had 8,000 views, and I thought, ‘That’s awesome.’ And then it had 70,000 views, and I thought, ‘That’s awesome too.’ And then it went to a million and it became a crazy circus,” he said of the movie, whose minimalist concept and undercurrent of jittery dread helped it hop borders. “I had to make a spreadsheet of all the [industry] people I talked to and what we said the last time we spoke.”

One of the people who got in touch was Lawrence Grey, a producer known for variety of genre and other fare from newer creators. (“Hidden,” “Last Vegas”). Grey saw in “Lights Out” the potential for a much larger story. He soon brought on veteran horror screenwriter Eric Heisserer (2010’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street”) and James Wan (“Saw,” “The Conjuring” franchise), the latter spitballing a series of ideas with Sandberg.

With high-return genre investments such as “Annabelle” paying off in recent summers, New Line soon greenlighted the movie, fast-tracking it so that it was shooting in a manner of months, keeping Sandberg aboard.

“I was a little shocked they would let me direct, because everything I had ever done on movies was in my apartment by myself,” Sandberg said. “I think they thought I was more experienced than I was.”

Grey said he realized the flier everyone was taking. “The first movie set David was ever on was the set of his own Warner Bros. film. So he is very green,” the producer laughed. “But I think no matter how many movies you’ve made, it comes down to taste, and you could tell right away David had it.”

Slated for release across the Philippines on July 21, 2016, “Lights Out” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Filming underway for highly anticipated horror film ‘Annabelle 2’

She’s back! Principal photography has begun on New Line Cinema’s “Annabelle 2,” with David F. Sandberg (upcoming “Lights Out”) helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful “Annabelle,” which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters. The new film is once again being produced by Peter Safran and James Wan, who also partnered so effectively on “The Conjuring” movies.

In “Annabelle 2,” several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

The film stars Stephanie Sigman (“Spectre”), Talitha Bateman (“The 5th Wave”), Lulu Wilson (upcoming “Ouija 2,” “Deliver Us from Evil”), Philippa Anne Coulthard (“After the Dark”), Grace Fulton (“Badland”), Lou Lou Safran (“The Choice”), Samara Lee (“Fox Catcher,” “The Last Witch Hunter”), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s “Without a Trace”) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s “Homeland,” “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy).

Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote “Annabelle.” Filming is taking place in Los Angeles.

Collaborating with Sandberg behind-the-scenes from his “Lights Out” team are production designer Jennifer Spence and editor Michel Aller, joined by director of photography Maxime Alexandre (“The Other Side of the Door”) and costume designer Leah Butler (“Paranormal Activity 3 & 4”).

Currently scheduled for release beginning May 19, 2017, “Annabelle 2,” is a New Line Cinema presentation, an Atomic Monster/Safran Company production. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: New trailer for ‘Lights Out’ sets up horror story

New Line Cinema has just revealed the new trailer for “Lights Out,” featuring the backstory of the haunting entity and more creepy scenes that test your fear of the dark. Watch the trailer here below.

From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes the new horror film “Lights Out,” a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark.

When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has re-emerged.

But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

The film stars Teresa Palmer (“Triple 9”) as Rebecca; Gabriel Bateman (“Annabelle”) as Martin; Billy Burke (the “Twilight” franchise) as Martin’s father, Paul; Alexander DiPersia (“Forever”) as Rebecca’s boyfriend, Bret; and Maria Bello (“Prisoners”) as Sophie.

“Lights Out” marks the feature film directorial debut of David F. Sandberg, who directed the film from a screenplay by Eric Heisserer (“Final Destination 5”), based on Sandberg’s own short film. James Wan, Lawrence Grey and Heisserer produced the film, with Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Richard Brener serving as executive producers.

Slated for release across the Philippines on July 21, 2016, “Lights Out” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: Everyone is afraid of the dark in first trailer for ‘Lights Out’

From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes the new horror film “Lights Out,” a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. Watch the thriller’s first trailer below.

When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has re-emerged.

But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.

The film stars Teresa Palmer (“Triple 9”) as Rebecca; Gabriel Bateman (“Annabelle”) as Martin; Billy Burke (the “Twilight” franchise) as Martin’s father, Paul; Alexander DiPersia (“Forever”) as Rebecca’s boyfriend, Bret; and Maria Bello (“Prisoners”) as Sophie.

“Lights Out” marks the feature film directorial debut of David F. Sandberg, who directed the film from a screenplay by Eric Heisserer (“Final Destination 5”), based on Sandberg’s own short film. James Wan, Lawrence Grey and Heisserer produced the film, with Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Richard Brener serving as executive producers.

Sandberg’s behind-the-scenes team included director of photography Marc Spicer (“Furious 7”), production designer Jennifer Spence (the “Insidious” films), editor Kirk Morri (“The Conjuring”) and costume designer Kristin M. Burke (“The Conjuring”). The music is composed by Benjamin Wallfisch.

New Line Cinema presents a Grey Matter/Atomic Monster production, “Lights Out.”

Slated for release across the Philippines on July 21, 2016, “Lights Out” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.