Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.
The skeptical psychologist Dr. Margaret Matheson and her assistant, physicist Tom Buckley, are specialists in disclosing fraudulent paranormal phenomena. When the famous psychic Simon Silver reappears to his public after many years of absence, Tom becomes singularly obsessed in determining whether Silver is a fraud or not.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The scene in which Margaret Matheson exposes a psychic healer by listening in on a partner feeding him instructions wirelessly was based on the case in which skeptics James Randi and Steve Shaw (better known under his stage name Banachek), with technical assistance from crime scene analyst and electronics expert Alexander Jason, exposed Peter Popoff in 1986. In that case, as in the scene, Popoff's wife Elizabeth was feeding him information that she and her aides had taken from prayer request cards filled out by audience members over wireless radio. Some of the dialogue is taken almost verbatim from the actual case. In May 1986, Randi presented the evidence on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), exposing Popoff's fraudulent practices. In 1987, Popoff declared bankruptcy, only to make a comeback in the late 1990s and early 2000s. See more »
Silver reveals to the TV host he knew it was a spoon she was holding because its handle was sticking out from her pocket earlier, not because he is psychic. However, if he were blind he wouldn't have been able to have seen this.
SPOILER: This may be incorrectly regarded as a goof if it is a very early tell that he is not actually blind, a significant plot twist not otherwise revealed until the very end of the film. See more »
Not very often do you see such juxtaposition in film in terms of narrative structure. Unfortunately the second hour of this ambitious thriller fails to follow its enthralling predecessor, which explores a new and engaging concept.
Following in the footsteps of the director, why not separate my review into two halves? Though I will try not to decline in the quality of analysis.
With a highly respected and frankly quite surprising cast (the surprise being the lack of marketing and attention the film has received), nothing negative can be said of the fine performances, most notably from our protagonist Cillian Murphy. The actors deliver dialogue to assist the slow plot development and at times subtle, appropriate humour between Murphy and Sigourney Weaver's characters. The chemistry between the two paranormal researchers is evident throughout and it is not until one of the film's many expositions where this is lost. This technique of continuous revelations is what enables an audience to remain in their seats despite having perhaps consumed too much of the overpriced beverages from the lobby, and as cliché as it is, keeps you on the edge of your seat. (hopefully not due to irritability) The script itself unveils an original idea of exposing paranormal phenomena as fraudulent, which itself is reason enough to enjoy this film in theatres while you still can!
Now onto the second hour, I mean paragraph. The immediate impact of the arguably primary disequilibrium can be felt as it occurs, as the tone of the motion picture changes. Unexpected plot holes begin to expose themselves as spots might to a thirteen year-old. This unfortunate turn in events (speaking both figuratively and literally) proves to lead to an eventual anti-climax, that cannot be described as anything else but disappointing. As a consumer, I found myself questioning where exactly the film was going, as one might if taken on a different bus route to a usually predictable destination. Though we ended up at the expectation of predictability and disappointment. (only an expectation in hour two) Anticipating the final exposition was a task of its own, would there be a resolution? Would our unusual tragic hero achieve his goal? How would a new equilibrium be incorporated? This is what kept blinking to a minimum throughout, though eyes were still rolling at particular moments due to the inconceivable mistakes and unexplained occurrences. We were almost being rushed towards the end of the story so that the theatre could get more people to enjoy the film for an hour or tw... forget it, just the one hour.
Without the cast to save the ambition and potential of Rodrigo Cortes' piece, it no doubt would have been a disaster in all respects and its already mundane box office performance would be as low as my mood coming out of Screen 14 last Wednesday. With all respect to the director/writer though, 'Red Lights' is worth watching based solely on the first 60 minutes because of the idea, as well as the performances of the many talented actors, despite some characters being completely irrelevant and unnecessary. If you find yourself searching for something to do one evening, and if there are no particular films you desire to see, but you desire to see a film then 'Red Lights' will moderately satisfy your appetite, though you may be disappointed there wasn't more on the plate.
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