MOVIE REVIEW: Red Lights

Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver & Robert De Niro star together in the supernatural thriller being touted as this year’s ‘The 6th Sense’. Does is live up to such a bold claim?

I went with a friend who is a real Shyamalan nut to see Red Lights having read nothing about the plot. I was very hopeful for a film that boasts such a A-list cast, and anything that open challenges the supremacy of Manoj’s best film is worth investigating.

I’ll start of with this – it is a good film, not a great film, but a good film, probably more on par with ‘Unbreakable’ actually; but if this is your arm of the genre, then definitely go see it to make up your mind about the ending. I’m still in two minds about the ending, although I err towards liking it and my friend really liked it, but I can tell you this – neither of us saw it coming!

So the story concerns paranormal investigator (Weaver) and her assistant (Murphy) who spend most of their time debunking pretty much every case that crosses her path. Weaver is driven, searching for any truth in the after-life, which will help her conscience deal with her keeping her comatose son on life support for well over 10 years. Murphy, despite the fact that he does a job well below his abilities, is driven by his belief that there is “something out there”.

In tandem, we learn about De Niro, by all accounts a world-renowned psychic of some “achievement” and notoriety, who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away, prompting accusations that De Niro psychicly assassinated him. It is also inferred that De Niro may also have been behind Weaver’s 10 year son falling into a coma, and as such, she is a little reluctant to dig to deep into De Niro alleged psychic powers.

Thus the story then centres on the public re-emergence of De Niro to much acclaim and dollar signs, and Murphy’s dogged pursuit of the truth. Cortés’ script & direction are crisp & straight to the point, the film never drags at any point; and in true Shyamalan-like style, the story raises questions of faith & belief, the afterlife and contact with those departed. The performances are first-rate by the three leads – sometimes I forget just how versatile Cillian Murphy is. And there are a couple of great supports, including Craig Roberts, best known as the uncouth teenage vampire Adam from ‘Being Human’.

As I said, the ending divided my friend and I; he was blown away by it, whereas I initially felt cheated by it. But after some discussion whilst nursing a pint, I came around to liking it. But no-one we spoke to saw it coming.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reporter: SilverFox

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