Ever wonder how a horror short film that trended on Facebook became a full length feature film? Lawrence Grey, producer of upcoming horror flick Lights Out, sheds light on the process of how Lights Out made it to the big screen and how David F. Sandberg went from internet sensation to Hollywood director.

“It all started on a sunny day in my office…” Grey began to share how he came across the short film that had everyone jumping as they stared intently at their smart phones or laptops. Friends told him about the video and he watched it on Reddit, a popular forum site, and found that what he saw freaked him out completely. So much in fact, that the image of that woman like creature stayed with him as he went home and into the night. To understand how he felt, watch the original short film below:

Understand what freaked him out so much? We sure do! Because this short still freaks us out to this day. But like we asked before, how does a short horror film like that go from internet sensation to summer horror flick? Well it took a little luck. When Mr. Grey couldn’t get the short film off his mind, he called up the creator of the film and away the project went.


From there a story unfolded, which Sandberg already had thoughts of and had ideas for, and a film was in the process of being made. They wanted the film to be unique and completely different, not something you’d seen before. Which was the key reason why the evil spirit, Diana, was a female character. When asked why it was so key to have a female antagonist, Grey responded that, although the examples I had brought up about other female evil spirits was true, Diana was different. She was more maternal and protective of Sophie, the mother in the film, and in her way, child-like.

But Diana’s role is key to the overall drama of the film, especially how the film turns out in the end (we promised not to spoil the ending so you’ll have to see the film to understand). And if you find you have questions at the end of the film, that’s okay. Grey and his fellow filmmakers wanted the audience to have questions, rather than walk away completely satisfied. Questions create curiosity and chance for a sequel.

Grey was also happy to share a little information about one of the cast members. Fans of the short film saw her as the star, but Lotta Losten also gets to make an appearance in the film. Originally meant to be a police officer in the final scene, James Wan, another producer on the film and well known for The Conjuring series, suggested she have a part in the beginning of the film. This had to be the best idea they came up with, as it allowed the fans of the short film to segway into the full length film with a familiar face.

When asked what the best part, other than discovering David Sandberg, was about working on Lights Out, Mr. Grey stated that it was the fact that everyone said, “Yes.” Everyone they wanted to work on this film, wanted to work on it with them and that was a big joy for Mr. Grey. The fact that they were able to make the film that they were able to make and others were just as interested in making it with them.

When the interview came to a close I was allowed one last question, “What is your favorite horror film?”

Mr. Grey of course responded that it’s not a really fair question (which is completely true) and stated that the film that horrifies him still to this day would have to be The Shining. It was a film that “he saw way too young” and stuck with him even to this day, even influencing Lights Out, in the sense that it is also a family drama driven horror film.

Like what you hear? Then check out our review of Lights Out here and make sure to see it this weekend! See the trailer below:

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures