Sunday, November 25, 2012

Red Lights

Year: 2012
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen

Plot: Two scientists who specialise in debunking paranormal activity attempt to uncover the mystery behind a world renowned psychic who has returned after a long absence.

Review: On one of the posters to this film, there's a quote from a critic that says "This year's The Sixth Sense." After watching it, I can understand the comparison. However Red Lights doesn't quite possess the quality of the film it's being compared to.

Rodrigo Cortes, director of Buried, does a decent enough job setting up the plot about two scientists, played by Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy, who are pretty good at what they do, who go around the country taking on any psychic phenomena and proving it being a fraud. In one scene, they take on a guy performing in front of a live audience and quite easily prove he's a phony, which is one of the more interesting parts of the film.

Then comes the part where they take on Simon Silver, a blind psychic who claims to be the real deal. Weaver, who has a history with the man, chooses to stay away, but Murphy wants to test him. And so begins the mystery: is he for real, or not?

Cortes successfully keeps the audience interested by maintaining the pace and letting the actors lead the story along. It helps a lot that the cast is spot on, with the three main leads doing an awesome job with their roles. Weaver and Murphy are solid, with the latter having a heavier role in the second half. Robert De Niro doesn't have much to do till the final third of the film, but is very believable as Simon Silver.

As good as the cast is, the film kinda trips over itself in the climax. Towards that point, Cortes tries to inject some horror type jump elements into his film, which was rather jarring. The twist itself isn't so bad, but isn't so mind blowing either. I felt that it was more about how it was executed than what the twist really is. With a bit more creativity and timing, Cortes could have nailed that last section of his film and score a winner. As of right now, it's just almost.

Overall, Red Lights is actually quite interesting. It does manage to keep you guessing, but sort of disappoints at the finish line. (3.5/5)

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