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Light From Light (A Movie Review)

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Light From Light


Starring Marin Ireland, Jim Gaffigan, Josh Wiggins, Atheena Frizzell, David Cale, Josh Wiggins, Rhoda Griffis, Michael Hampton and Christopher Ward.

Screenplay by Paul Harrill.

Directed by Paul Harrill.

Distributed by Grasshopper Film. 82 minutes. Not Rated.

Late fall, the clocks have adjusted backwards, the night seems ever longer, trick-or-treaters are tucked away for another year. The air is crisp, and it feels like the perfect night to snuggle under a blanket for a ghost story. Light from Light is for those more interested in a slow-burn drama than a scare, but with a main character whose hobby is paranormal investigation, things are bound to get a little spooky.

Light from Light never reaches a true haunt level like 1999’s The Sixth Sense or 2018’s Ghost Stories, but it does leave an impact in its portrayal of the mother/son relationship. This is between single mom, Sheila (played by Marin Ireland) and son, Owen (played by Josh Wiggins) as they navigate that tricky ending period of high school.

Owen has a “Why bother?” attitude about cute, interested Lucy (played by Atheena Fizzell). He tries to rationalize why, although he is interested in asking Lucy to the homecoming dance (that she has been not so subtly hinting about), he shouldn’t do it because she will be leaving for college and he won’t ever be leaving his town.

Implied in that rationalization; he won’t be leaving his mom, who fears that her son will get hurt in a relationship, after many failed relationships in her past. Her advice to her son is filled with fear, masked with a desire for him to take care of what he needs first.

So, where is the ghost story you ask? Enter Richard (played by a super dramatic, not at all funny Jim Gaffigan – seriously), a grieving widower who senses his dead wife’s presence in the house. He’s not sure if it is his exhaustion, a mental breakdown, or a haunting.

After his medical exams cleared, he seeks advice from their priest, Father Martin (played by David Cale), who then connects Richard with Sheila after hearing her radio interview about her work as a paranormal investigator.

Sheila agrees to help Richard get to the bottom of his flickering lights and help to prove, or disprove, his dead wife’s presence in the house. As the story progresses, we are never convinced which Richard would prefer, a chance to say goodbye to his wife, or proof that she is gone for good. Unfortunately, we also never really care about Richard’s motivation or wishes.

Overall, it’s a fairly interesting narrative and character study of a film, that at less than 90 minutes, still feels too long. For those looking for a ghost story, for the most part, Light from Light never hits the mark. For those looking for a solid drama, Light from Light feels just a little too slow moving, dismissing tension for suspense that never reaches suspenseful.

If you are looking for a pretty scary portrayal of anaphylaxis after Lucy is stung by a wasp, well, this might be what you are looking for. It was for sure the most gripping five minutes of Light from Light.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: November 1, 2019.

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