Movie Review: Red Lights Will Make You Believe in Bad Movies

Come back, M. Night Shyamalan, all is forgiven. Rodrigo Cortes’s psychic thriller Red Lights is a genre film that aspires to so much more — tackling Big Questions like the nature of belief — even as it flounders in its own silliness. Veering between tonal and narrative extremes, it’s the kind of film that makes you long for the grim pomposity of something like Signs.

You could be mistaken at first for thinking Red Lights must be a spoof. It opens on paranormal investigators Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) and Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) arriving to study a supposed house-haunting. They quickly unravel it, however, by telling the family’s daughter to quit secretly banging her dresser against the wall and making it seem like the whole house is shuddering with phantoms. Buckley and Matheson travel around "exploring" paranormal activity — that is to say, they uncover frauds. At least, that’s what they do when they’re not teaching a college course best described as Ghostbusting 101. (When we see them in class, they’re revealing all the tricks that supposed psychics might use to fool their audiences, which raises the question of what they cover in their other lessons for the semester.) Read More...


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