Two years ago he blew audiences away with his low budget shocker Buried, director Rodrigo Cortes did what any film boss wants from a writer/director, delivered a story on time, on budget, and with no expectations, the result box office gold. For his next project, Cortes got to take the action out of the box, and into a very real world, rather than one actor, he had a handful of top names. But did he excite or chill the audience?
Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) is a much acclaimed scientist, who has set out her life exposing charlatans, who claim to have gifts, or suspected paranormal activity. With Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) in toe, the pair travels the country, exposing hoaxes wherever they go. Into the fray comes Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) a man with the gift to heal, a man who thirty years earlier ducked out of the limelight after his most fierce critic died tragically after an argument with him. Matheson knows Silver is not the powerful man the rest of the world thinks he is, but for some unknown reason is in no mood to expose him, much to Buckley’s dismay, is Silver really the gifted man he claims to be? Or is here something far more sinister behind the man loved by millions.
Red Lights is another very capable effort from Cortes, but sadly it failed to generate the momentum that Buried did, and while the movie never lost money, it never gained any either. Sadly Red Lights was not treated with warmth upon release in the United States, and as a result, when the movie saw foreign shores (including here in the UK) they never bothered to throw any money at the marketing. Combine this with the movies controversial delivery, and Red Lights really got the bum end of the deal.
Despite what you may find when looking at reviews, Red Lights is a fairly good effort, it has a not entirely unexpected conclusion, but maybe the twist may catch people out. It’s storytelling is quite good too, like any good movie it’s divided into three acts, however the three acts hear are quite different from each other, that gives it a bit of a spin.
If there is a big criticism then it’s surrounding the character of Silver, played by De Niro. In his opening scene, we are shown that Silver is blind; the way this is carried out is a bit passé. Then you have a fairly ropey delivery from De Niro, mainly down to the poor scriptwriting of his character.
Cast the above criticism’s aside, and Red Lights is really entertaining stuff, it has a nice pace, never get’s boring, and takes an interesting journey, it blurs the line between thriller and horror rather nicely, and has some really punchy shots. And of course, for many it has that shocking twist, that will undoubtedly blow some away.