Film Review – Red Lights (2012)

Red Lights

Title – Red Lights (2012)

Director – Rodrigo Cortes (Buried)

Cast – Cillian Murphy, Robert DeNiro, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones

Plot – Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and her assistant Tom (Murphy) set about the country to debunk paranormal activity. When famed, blind and previously retired psychic Simon Silver (DeNiro) suddenly reappears into the public after past controversy’s Margaret and Tom are set on a dangerous course of investigation where truth may be the most dangerous of all reveals.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you furious”

Review by Eddie on 30/09/2013

Red Lights is more than likely one of the more kookier movies you are likely to see this year. Director Cortes’s last movie before this thriller was the man in a box movie Buried which somehow managed to keep viewers glued to the edge of their seats despite the whole film taking place inside the confines of the box. In that film Cortes showed a flare for not only character driven scenes but a unique feel for camera angles and shots. It’s a shame then that Red Lights intriguing premise is not backed up by this same stylish prowess.

Red Lights story is never not interesting with enough red herrings and mysteries to remain watchable all the way through. The biggest downfall of the movie is in the way the story progresses and therefore wastes one of the most interesting cast’s in modern memory. Red Lights offered the perfect mix of old and young with screen legends DeNiro and Weaver playing alongside up and comers Murphy and Olsen through to fantastic character actor Toby Jones therefore the cast is about as good as it comes, on paper at least.

Murphy is the member of the cast that comes out of Red Lights with the greatest work, other members are barely given room to grow this specifically includes DeNiro and Olsen who really don’t have much to do and henceforth don’t do much. It feels as though Red Lights could have delved into these characters more to enhance the central idea of whether or not DeNiro’s Simon Silver is a fraud or something altogether more terrifying. There are other elements of the films plot that again feel like they could have been fleshed out such as Tom’s backstory and Margaret’s dealings with her paraplegic son.

Red Lights was a commercial and critical failure upon release and it’s not hard to argue why this is the case. The film really isn’t the sum of its parts yet has enough good in it to give it a shot. I was invested enough throughout to stick with it and see where this unique film finished. Red Lights finishes’ on a strange yet satisfying note, a fitting finale to a film that doesn’t conform.

2 and a half bent spoons out of 5

12 responses to “Film Review – Red Lights (2012)

  1. Yeah, they really dropped the ball story-wise. This had the potential to be as good as something like ‘The Prestige’, but they failed…horribly. Loved Weaver and Murphy so much, and DeNiro did the best he could with such a formulaic antagonist, but no great amount of acting could’ve saved this.

    The ending was the most “wtf” moment I’ve seen in a long time. And not in a good way.

    • Yeh I felt a little ripped off by the ending straight up but upon pondering it actually grew on me and it felt a lot better. Still a missed chance this flick – could of been great!

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