Red Lights is a paranormal thriller in the same vein as the Sixth Sense. Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) is a psychologist who investigates supernatural phenomena. Having spent several decades testing possible paranormal actively, she has yet to find conclusive proof of a genuine manifestation of psychic energy. Matheson is aided in her pursuit of the truth by physicist Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy). The team use ‘red lights’ to identify fraudulent psychics. These are little details, such as ear-pieces, which indicate that the audience are being tricked.
Buckley begins to take an interest in one of their students (Elizabeth Olson). She starts to work with the duo on their investigations. They are constantly competing with another faculty within the college which focuses on paranormal activity for funding.
Robert De Niro plays Simon Silver. Silver is a blind psychic who confound the globe with his abilities before retiring suddenly. His retirement was due to the sudden death of his most vocal critic at one of Silver’s performances. The ageing psychic emerges from retirement and the curiosity of the Buckley is piqued. Silver is subjected to tests within the competing faculty of the college in which they work to prove or disprove his psychic abilities.
As the Silver’s show rolls into their city, pressure comes on the psychologist to renounce her scepticism and support people’s interest in the psychic. Buckley wants to challenge Silver directly. However, Matheson urges Buckley to stay away from the dangerous medium as events begin to get stranger and more difficult to explain.
The film is a tense, fast-paced thriller in the style of David Fincher’s Se7en. Murphy, Weaver and De Niro are all class acts. They make what could have been Scooby Doo for adults into an engaging piece. It loses a little bit of its charm towards the end but overall Red Lights is a very enjoyable film. [Watch the trailer]