The greatest attribute of “Red Lights” is the strength of its actors. Therefore, when one of said actors’ character suddenly vanishes from the story, the movie suffers an irreparable blow.
That is to say that the first hour of writer/director Rodrigo Cortés’ new paranormal thriller is extremely interesting as it focuses on the rapport between the various players in this unique game of cat and mouse. However, with the exit of one of the players from the game, the film’s focus turns to plot-twists and long-winded explanations – neither of which are particularly fascinating.
In “Red Lights,” which opens today exclusively at Harkins Shea 14, Sigourney Weaver plays a psychologist who, with her assistant (Cillian Murphy), studies paranormal activity. This eventually leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (Robert De Niro) who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away. Elizabeth Olsen also stars.
At first, “Red Lights” is quite compelling as we see Weaver’s and Murphy’s characters investigate and debunk the paranormal powers of so-called psychics. The introduction of De Niro’s character adds tension to the tale as we wait to discover how the two worlds will collide. But then Cortés takes a wrong turn and it is all downhill from there.
Having said that, some accomplished acting by the performers whose characters survive the misstep goes a long way toward keeping curiosity levels high. Unfortunately, the ending of “Red Lights” comes out of left-field and, unlike other movies’ endings that consist of plot-twists, everything does not add up as it should. It is almost as if Cortés was aware of this, too, because he spends an awful of energy attempting to rationalize… I mean… explain it.
“Red Lights” (R – 113 minutes) opens today exclusively at Harkins Shea 14. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.