Unlike influential 1950 Japanese movie Rashomon, the retellings are not distorted or misremembered through alternate viewpoints. Instead, each iteration of the ten days leading up to the discovery of a body in the woods delicately reveals more details while obscuring others. It feels less like peeing away layers of an onion, and more like stripping back different shaped pages of tracing paper over a photo - making contrasting parts of the image clearer each time. The idea is far from revolutionary, but Gobert deserves credit for how well it works here.
In addition to a wonderful soundtrack, he's helped by some great performances from the young cast. Teen characters Jérémie (Jules Pelissier), Alice (Ana Giradot), Rabier (Serge Riaboukine), Laetitia (Selma El Mouissi) and Simon himself (Laurent Delbecque) are given real believability and heart. You get an insight into teenage life, but the ideas and emotions are subtle enough to enhance and not overshadow the story. Like many a movie with a rather ripped narrative, it's hard to say how enjoyable Lights Out will be to watch again - but first time round it's a pleasure.
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