Film Review: Red Lights
Red Lights is a poorly constructed movie that fails to entice the viewer beyond the opening scene. Although advertised as a psychological thriller, the plot fails to define itself as such and regularly alternates between a mystery, a thriller and a love story, blundering all three.
The movie frequently tries to engage the viewer with some eloquent speeches about mankind’s desire for belief in the supernatural but not only fails to expand on the questions it raises but avoids them entirely. Sadly, the only questions I found myself asking were things like – was the script writer drunk when he produced this drivel? and, if so, why did nobody else notice? The film opens with two paranormal researchers – Dr. Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they disprove supernatural claims. Once Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) emerges from retirement, Buckley tries to debunk him after seeing Matheson humiliated on TV, which leads to a series of strange incidents which may or may not be attributed to paranormal activity. Without giving away any spoilers, all I can say about the ending is that it’s completely unexpected due to the fact that there is no previous indication of it. As a movie goer I tend to enjoy the unexpected, anything that breaks the barrier of my typical horizon of expectations is usually applauded, but its deliverance is so sporadically implemented that I cannot endorse it (plot-wise) in any regard.
Gaping plot holes aside, the movie dons an all star cast including big names such as Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. De Niro delivers an excellent performance as Silver; his eloquent speeches did hold my attention for their duration, but sadly the entire films enjoyment is undermined by Murphy who didn’t look so much puzzled as he did bored by being part of the movie. The love story between him and his pupil (Elizabeth Olsen) is poorly conceived and I’ve seen better connections between bricks and mortar. Atmosphere-wise the movie also fails to entice and I often found myself noting during the apparent atmospheric scenes that not only did the director (Rodrigo Cortés) depend entirely on close shot captions but actually avoided using music entirely. If I had to grade this movie out of five I would give it a two and the only reason I would do so is thanks to De Niro’s attempts to save this catastrophe of a film. There is nothing in this movie that The Illusionist from 2006 starring Edward Norton hasn’t done better and I leave you with the recommendation that you avoid Red Lights and rent that instead.
Posted by Kelly O'Brien on at 12:16 am.
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