Coming from the guy who put Ryan Reynolds in a box and got his best ever performance (Buried director Rodrigo Cortes), expectations for this one were high. A classy cast headlined by the always interesting Cillian Murphy, and featuring iconic veteran names Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro, you'd be forgiven for expecting something different. The resulting film is high in ambience, but not nearly as smart as it thinks it is. The final twist in particular is underlined so heavily it borders on condescending.

Weaver and Murphy are paranormal investigators who specialise in debunking mediums, psychics and the like. Very good at what they do, they're underfunded, overworked and driven by a seemingly inexplicable urge to expose the frauds making millions off of the vulnerability of the weak-minded. One of the most controversial and successful is De Niro's showman, Simon Silver, who has been retired for a few decades but plans on an extravagant comeback. When he hits up their hometown, Murphy's hungry young investigator is keen to nail him, but Weaver's wary professor has history with the enigmatic and creepy mind-fucker.


here's something inherently fascinating about the world of the supernatural and paranormal. While Red Lights doesn't go down the horror route of exorcisms and poltergeists, the tone is similar - all foreboding and drenched in shadow. When a cast of this calibre appears in a film with such a subject matter, the natural response is heightened expectation. Adult thrillers of this ilk, with this kind of thespian star-power, don't happen too often nowadays. Cortes ultimately struggles to get a firm grasp of his film and it's subsequently feels like it probably reads better in script form than it plays on screen.
hat's not to shit all over Red Lights, it certainly works sporadically. Murphy is a hugely underrated leading man, and veers from affable to edgy with ease. He has a nice dynamic with Weaver, and more than holds his own opposite De Niro. The film just doesn't move with the confidence it should, and when the ending comes the tension should be palpable - it isn't. Speaking of the ending, while it reaches to leave the audience contemplating an earth-shattering revelation, it's more of a shrugging acceptance.
omentarily engaging, but doesn’t have the urgency to pack the punch it wants to.
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