WHAT THE FUCK ARE “RED LIGHTS”!? ARE THEY SPOOKY?! ARE THEY SCARY?! ARE THEY WHAT PREVENT ME FROM DRIVING THROUGH INTERSECTIONS?! These are the questions I had going into Red Lights, which seemed to disappear from the theaters very quickly. Was this movie bad or something? I don’t think I heard many positive things about it, but Netflix sure as shit didn’t mind recommending I watch it! They even said I’d give it at least 3 stars! How do stars convert to the moons I give out to films? Shit, I guess we’ll never know. The movie had a pretty decent cast and I’m always interested in shit about para-anything investigations, so I gave it a shot. WOULD YOU BELIEVE I ACTUALLY LIKED IT?! Whoa that’s crazy. I only tell you now that I liked it because there are mild spoilers in the review and you might want to skip towards the end. Although, the spoiler I mention happens about halfway through the movie, so even though it might be surprising, it serves mostly as a plot point to move the story forward as opposed to it being a huge shocker.
Investigating psychics too hard? GO back to driving spaceships into the Sun!
In addition to teaching a course at a local university on parapsychology, Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) also frequently goes on investigations with her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) to debunk claims of paranormal behaviors. This isn’t just trying to debunk ghosts or anything, they also try to disprove instances of telekinesis and mind-reading and all the weird things people claim are happening that science has no explanation for. When famous psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) comes out of a 30 year retirement, it seems only obvious that the duo investigate his claims. Margaret shows reluctance, but when Tom goes ahead anyway, his secret investigation coincides with the mysterious and sudden death of Margaret from a previous heart condition. Or was it something else at play? The emotional distress this causes results in Tom intensifying his investigation, only to have the strange events heighten. Electronic equipment exploding while he tries to film Silver, birds regularly flying into the windows of Tom’s apartment, and even Tom having an out of body experience. As his stress levels intensify, Tom gets closer and closer to the truth, and when he finds the truth, and when Tom finally confronts Silver with the truth, that truth is even surprising to Silver. Oh, and before I forget, “red lights” refer to the people who do scouting in an audience and gathering information to provide for the fake “psychic”. It basically means anyone who is obviously sticking out from the rest of the crowd, and has absolutely nothing to do with magical, floating red lights.
Pretty badass outfit, bro. Just wish it came in denim.
Whoa! This was not a horror movie! That’s awesome! I totally thought it was a horror movie, but I guess that’s just because I’m an idiot and think that anything involving parapsychology will result in ghosts fighting or something like that. Maybe it was because I had just watched The Ninth Gate, which was a quasi-thriller about a book investigator, I was totally on board with the tone and pacing of the film. When I saw that the movie was almost 2 hours long, I was pretty hesitant about how they could keep my attention for that long, but I was engaged with pretty much everything that was going on. I don’t want to say the movie was completely grounded in reality, because, well, shit doesn’t get as intense as the things that happened in this movie, but as far as debunking claims of reading a card someone holds up without seeing it or having a table levitate and showing the real world reasons why this is so easy, it was pretty interesting. Prior to this film, director Rodrigo Cortés made Buried, which took place in one goddamned box, so it was enjoyable to see filmmaking style in a much larger spaces. Specifically any time there was a shot of De Niro onstage, it looked really cool the way he was lit so intensely from above, and pretty much everything below his eyes were much more difficult to make out. Speaking of De Niro…boy oh boy, he was certainly doing his absolute best Pacino in this movie. That’s not meant to be a compliment, as he cranked his overacting to 11 and he just looked like a giant goddamned cartoon. Especially considering how subtle most of the other stuff in the movie was, he really stood out as a sore thumb. The reveal at the end of the movie was also kind of cheesy, or at least the “confrontation” was kind of cheesy, even if I did think it was an entertaining reveal. If you’re looking for a straight up horror movie, then you can probably skip Red Lights, but if you know what you’re getting into, it’s an entertaining exploration of the field of parapsychology.
Wolfman Moon Scale
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