Cinema Review: Red Lights


DIR: Rodrigo Cortés • WRI: Andrew Steele • PRO: Rodrigo Cortés, Adrián Guerra • DOP: Xavi Giménez • ED: Rodrigo Cortés • DES: Antón Laguna • Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy

In 2010, director Rodrigo Cortes burst into our radar with Buried, an insanely tense and unique thriller which put him firmly on our ‘One To Watch’ list. For his follow up, he’s gathered quite an impressive cast (Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones), as well as doing scripting duties himself, conjuring up an interesting premise.

Weaver is a university lecturer, with Murphy as her assistant. They teach classes about the world of parapsychology, and in their spare time they drive around, demystifying all manner of psychics and haunted houses. De Niro is a world famous psychic who is coming out of a 30-year hiatus, after his most avid disbeliever died of a heart-attack at his last show. Murphy decides De Niro should be next to debunk, but Weaver warns him off, claiming him to be too dangerous a target. And pretty soon some weird and scary things start to happen, things that cannot be explained by science…

This interesting set-up, along with some pretty good performances from all of the leads (including, thankfully, De Niro) makes for a solid first 30 minutes. However, once some of the more outlandish plot pieces begin to fall into the place, the film slowly starts to fall apart. Huge sections of the story are just left dangling in the wind, along with Elizabeth Olsen as Murphy’s girlfriend and Toby Jones as Weaver’s rival lecturer, two excellent actors both completely wasted.

Being touted as this year’s equivalent of The Sixth Sense, this too comes with a ‘twist ending’ which isn’t so much a surprise as it is 100% completely unguessable, as well as destroying pretty much destroying the entire story that had gone before. A significant disappointment.

Rory Cashin

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)

Red Lights is released on 22nd June 2012

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