There have been quite a few movies about paranormal investigation teams encountering a phenomenon they can’t explain. Perhaps the greatest in this genre was “Poltergeist“. I will never forget the look on the scientist’s face when his steak began crawling across the counter.
There’s no steak in “Red Lights” but there’s a hell of a plot and some fantastic acting. Sigourney Weaver is Margaret Matheson; a determined Professor who spends a great deal of her time debunking instances of paranormal phenomena. She knows all about faking a psychic reading, how people fake photographs of spirits and even children who are trying to trick their parents.
Her colleague is Dr. Tom Buckley, played by Cillian Murphy. Each time I see Cillian Murphy in a movie – I love it. “Sunshine” remains my favorite performance of his but this “Red Lights” is going to be in my top ten for sure. In this film, Murphy’s Dr. Buckley is determined to investigate Simon Silver. Silver, played by the always eerie Robert De Niro, is a well-known and loved psychic who has come out of retirement. Dr. Matheson has had a run-in with Silver before so she doesn’t want to investigate him again but Buckley will not give up.
Unlike other reviewers I’m not going to give you a comparison of what other eerie film this reminded me of because that will give away the ending. But there’s an ending that you may not see coming. I liked it.
One of the best things about the movie is the solid performance by Cillian Murphy. He has a lot of quick dialogue and most of the story falls on him; not a light role for sure. As always, he pulls it off well. His Professor is very believable. In fact, I found myself really rooting for Dr. Buckley. I wanted him to be right! I wanted him to disprove Silver’s abilities. And maybe that’s why I didn’t see the end coming.
If you like clever spooky films, rather than slasher flicks that pound the plot out so you don’t miss it then try this film.