My Filmviews

- What are yours?

The Monday Question: Darkness!

When we visit the cinema we look forward to the experience, sitting in a big room with lots of people experiencing the light of images bigger than life hitting our eyes and together sharing and (hopefully) enjoying the experience with others. When the lights go out you know that you are going to see something you were curious about, looking forward to. Going to the cinema is a special experience. But what if you watch a movie at home? You will agree the experience is very different and it made me wonder about something:

When you watch a movie at home do you turn off the lights?

I realise this is a bit of a weird question, but I was wondering about this last week when I happened to be home alone. Normally there are some lights on in the house, but as I was planning to watch Rashômon I decided to see if switching off all the lights made the experience different from how I would normally watch movies at home. I must say it did draw me into the movie just that little bit more and gave a slightly more “cinematic” experience. So I can say it made a difference to me even though I realise that most of the times the lights will be on in the future.

When you watch a movie at home do you turn off the lights?

Category: Movies
  • Morgan R. Lewis says:

    As much as possible. I try to watch movies at night, and I turn off any lights in the room I’m in, or which might be visible from it.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:52 am
    • Nostra says:

      Reading all the comments up to now I’m surprised more people do this. Might have to do this myself more often :)

      October 29, 2012 at 9:12 am
      • Morgan R. Lewis says:

        I find it cuts down a lot on distractions, so I can just enjoy the movie.

        October 29, 2012 at 10:30 am
  • VictorsMovieReviews says:

    Usually dimmed. If I know the movie has a dark theme, then I will turn off the lights.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:05 am
    • Nostra says:

      So you do plan ahead before watching it. I never thought about the lighting before so interesting to see how much people to think about this.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:13 am
  • mistylayne says:

    Depends. I’m usually multi-tasking while I watch movies so usually not because I need to see what I’m doing. Did just watch Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer with my roomie in the dark though and the dark was nice!

    October 29, 2012 at 4:08 am
    • Nostra says:

      That sounds like a movie which you would be able to enjoy quite a bit in the dark, it fits the movie.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:14 am
  • Austin 'BishopReview' says:

    I like turning off the lights, but it depends on the movie. Blockbusters and personal favorites almost always are watched in dark or dim rooms, but comedies and film’s I’m not sure about are watched in the bright light of my lamp. I’m not quite sure why.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:52 am
    • Nostra says:

      Hmm, maybe because you don’t know what to expect? I’m pretty sure that once I have a dedicated cinema room the lighting will be something I will pay more attention to. The realisation of that dream is still quite some time away.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:15 am
  • le0pard13 says:

    Lights out when I watch a movie at night.

    October 29, 2012 at 5:06 am
    • Nostra says:

      Let there be darkness ;)

      October 29, 2012 at 9:16 am
  • Scott Lawlor (@FrontRoomCinema) says:

    I have nop choise in this one matey.. Using a projector means the lights are always off!!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:22 am
    • Scott Lawlor (@FrontRoomCinema) says:

      Gosh my spelling and typing is super bad this morning

      October 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm
      • Nostra says:

        Yeah, no surprise that you would turn the lights off, but since you call it the front room cinema I would expect nothing else ;)

        October 31, 2012 at 9:16 am
  • themovieuniverse says:

    I like to have the cinema style experience when I’m at home so if I’m watching a DVD I’ll make sure all the lights are turned out. A lot of people I know like to keep the lights on so it’s good to see lots of other people turn them off too!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:58 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, there are more people who turn off than what I was expecting. Will have to join in ;)

      October 31, 2012 at 9:19 am
  • objectpermanenceblog says:

    It would be nice to have a special dimmer that works automatically as the opening credits roll :-)

    October 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm
  • Mark Walker says:

    Yeah I have to say I’m prone to this Nostra. I gives the home viewing a bit more of an immersive feel. We all want to escape at the end of the day and this certainly helps to tune in more.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    • Nostra says:

      True and have noticed the difference it makes myself. Will do so more often…

      October 31, 2012 at 9:21 am
  • keith7198 says:

    I don’t turn off. Although I do dim them later at night when the family is in bed and I’m watching a movie alone.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm
    • Nostra says:

      We seem to be in the minority here!

      October 31, 2012 at 9:21 am
  • ckckred says:

    I always keep the lights off to help focus on the screen. I think it really helps you get into the movie.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I can agree with you on that :)

      October 31, 2012 at 9:21 am
  • Julie says:

    I always turn off the lights — even if I’m just watching a TV show. It definitely makes it a more cinematic and immersive experience.

    October 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I really didn’t think about doing that before, so I’m really surprised a lot of people do this.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • Eric says:

    I try to go lights out as often as possible. Definitely adds to the experience.

    October 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks for commenting Eric

      October 31, 2012 at 9:22 am
  • fernandorafael says:

    Not always. Sometimes I watch movies during the day and I close the blinds but still some light comes in. When I watch at night I tend to do it with all the lights off but if I’m feeling sleepy I try to leave a tiny light on so I don’t fall asleep hehe.

    October 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Closing the curtains during the day is something I do as well, because there would be way too much glare otherwise.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 am
  • ruth says:

    I always turn off the lights as much as possible so the glare isn’t on the screen.

    October 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Feel you on that one!

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 am
  • ilovethatfilm says:

    Depends on the film. Sometimes no but if I’m really excited about it or it’s a horror, I’ll often turn out the lights. Interesting question and range of responses!

    October 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot and an interesting take on it from you :)

      October 31, 2012 at 9:24 am
  • Tim The Film Guy says:

    If it’s a horror film then yes but otherwise just put the lights lower (sounds a bit sexual which it isn’t) haha :D

    October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm
    • Nostra says:


      November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am
  • AndyWatchesMovies says:

    I prefer turning the lights all the way off so I can really get absorbed in the film, but usually it doesn’t work out and I have to have some light source on nearby. I guess that’s a trade-off for home viewing…

    October 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm
    • Nostra says:

      So why doesn’t it work out?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:24 am
      • AndyWatchesMovies says:

        My wife has trouble sitting still and constantly gets up and turns on lights or my dog needs to go out or something else. I’m extremely lucky when I can get a 2 hour completely distraction-free period at home.

        November 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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