Red Lights is a tour de force of a supernatural thriller that will leave you guessing right up until the end.
Red Lights is one of those films that I really wanted to see at last year’s Sundance film festival. Unfortunately, it was impossible to get into. I’m sure that had something to do with the cast: Sigourney Weaver, Al Pacino, Cillian Murphy, Joely Richardson and Toby Jones. With names like that, that premiere was the hottest ticket in Park City.
Oddly surprising, though, is that after Sundance, Red Lights really didn’t get a very good run. I’m fairly certain it never played anywhere near me and if it did, it did not last long. And that’s a shame because it turned out to be one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in some time.
Red Lights is about a team of professional paranormal skeptics, Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and Tom Buckley (Murphy). This team attend various paranormal events and places and debunk the supernatural in the name of science. On the other side of the fence is Paul Shackleton (Jones) who is trying to prove that things like ESP actually exist, but also in the name of science.
Enter Simon Silver (Pacino). Silver is the godfather of all psychics, the one “gifted person” that the skeptics have been unable to disprove. And he’s coming out of retirement to make millions of dollars on folks who believe in him. Certainly, odd events occur around him that would make it seem so and even the skeptics begin to have moments of doubt that Silver could, in fact, be the miracle they have never seen.
What makes Red Lights so good is the constant toying of its audience’s mind. Silver is utterly convincing and just when you think you have caught him faking something, he comes in and does something that utterly astounds. There are so many twists in this film (including a major mind-blowing one at the end), that you never truly know which end is up. All you can do is strap yourself in and brace yourself for the ride on the tilt-a-whirl.
Obviously, a great cast is what makes everything so believable in Red Lights. With Pacino as Silver (appropriately named for his silver tongue), the charisma of that character makes you want to believe in the impossible things he claims to do. Weaver as the ultimate skeptic, Matheson, is almost sad in her devotion with a never-ending dedication to bringing people’s hopes in the supernatural crashing down around their ears. But it’s Murphy who steals the show as Buckley, the man who goes after Silver with a vengeance – because once you realize why he is so obsessed with Silver, you’ll be a freaked out and completely shocked.
The good news is that Red Lights is now available on Netflix Instant Watch. Trust me when I say this is one you don’t want to miss.