Red Lights

The man who provided the better-than-it-should-be film Buried returns.

Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) work at a college and specialize in debunking paranormal activity. When renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) returns from a 30 year hiatus, both Margaret and Tom feel he is the ultimate challenge to debunk.

This film has been on my must-see list since it was announced. The idea of persons who feel it the ultimate challenge to debunk someone who may be more than he seems is a very intriguing idea. Most reviewers feel that this film falls apart in the third act, but I disagree. I feel this film falls apart at about the halfway point.

What starts out as a very intriguing idea falls apart when one of the main protagonists leaves the film. Once that occurs, what we have is a film that abandons the ideas they have put in place and becomes more about one person's obsession with debunking Silver and provides some cheap scares.

The first half of the film is thoroughly entertaining. We meet Margaret and Tom meeting up with people claiming to suffer from unexplained phenomena. They go about it logically and the conversations between them are fairly entertaining. We find out that Margaret had attempted to investigate Silver 30 years before and she has no intention of doing so again. Tom, not knowing what Silver is about, feels they should try and investigate him again.

Silver draws large-scale audiences for his performances in town and strange things begin to happen, including the bending of spoons, which Silver does so often. Margaret's reluctance and Tom's pushing of investigating Silver provide a great dynamic as Silver is used sparingly for the first half of the film.

Once the second half of the film kicks in, however, the film flies off the rails. As stated, once one protagonist leaves the film, we are left with Silver and one of the investigators. That protagonist and their reluctance to leave Silver alone results in leaving the more grounded portions of the story behind and goes full bore into a supernatural thriller.

As stated, this film starts well, with lots of potential, but by the end turned into a completely different movie that was nowhere near as good as the one that started the film. I think I liked the film more than the rating will show, but the rating is so low because of how disappointing the film became. A big disappointment in my opinion.


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