You know me, I love supernatural thrillers. I get drawn into the concepts and think there are some really good stories that can be told in that genre. So I’m a bit of a sucker for them. And when you get a cast that includes Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro… well I tend to ignore the one star ratings on Netflix. I figure, there has to be something good in the film to attract those kinds of actors, right?
Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) has dedicated her life to studying the supernatural. Well, let me rephrase that, she has dedicated her life to proving all supernatural events as natural events misinterpreted or outright hoaxes. Helping her in her regular forays into “ghost busting” is Tom Buckley (Cilian Murphy) a student at the university that Margaret teaches at. The two are enjoying themselves quite a bit and even torment fellow professor Paul Shackleton (Toby Jones) who is attempting to prove the existence of supernatural events.
Then, the ultimate test arrives, Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), a man who was very famous back in the 70s for using ESP and other amazing mental powers to wow large audiences. After an event where a cynic confronted him and was killed mysteriously, Silver disappeared from public view. Well he is back with a vengeance, and Tom sees this as the perfect opportunity to put the paranormal on trial very publicly. But Margaret refuses, and Tom becomes more and more obsessed with going after Simon himself. Is Margaret hiding a secret? Is Simon more dangerous than anyone can guess? And what is driving Tom’s obsession. Check out Red Lights to find the answers.
- The basic plot and characters are interesting and set up well
- The cast does a fine job in the roles
- Some wonderfully dark and atmospheric scenes
- Some horribly over the top and badly edited scenes
- Starts to spin its wheels about half way through
- The final “twist” at the end just doesn’t make the impact it should
This is one frustrating film. I can see a really good movie struggling to get out, but the final result is something that seems messy, unfocused and in the end not thrilling or creepy at all. When you look at the whole thing on paper, it probably reads fine, but the execution is what hurts the movie. With strange editing choices, some bombastic sequences that pull you out of the film and a twist that just feels contrived and empty, the end result is a movie I can’t recommend.
Scores (out of 5)
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