Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Red Lights


Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Joely Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones and Leonardo Sbaraglia
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 October 2012

Tenacious Dr. Margaret Matheson, a world renowned investigator of paranormal hoaxes together with her partner Tom Buckley study the most varied metaphysical and psychic phenomena with one aim, to prove their fraudulent origin. But when legendary but elusive blind psychic Simon Silver emerges following a mysterious 30 year absence, the once-fearless Matheson warns Buckley to leave this case alone for fear that Silver will retaliate and put his life in danger. Empowered by his obsession to disprove Silver, Buckley enlists the help of his star student Sally Owen and uses every tool at his disposal. As Tom gets closer to Silver, whose magnetism becomes stronger with each new manifestation of inexplicable events, tension mounts, and he is forced to question his own core beliefs...

Red Lights straddles the thriller / horror genre without really doing more than dipping its toe in either. This is a movie that not only ignores genre restrictions, but also attempts to shake of a few movie cliches. The film is filled with red herrings and plot signposts that go nowhere - much like in real life. The end result is that the director cleverly uses slight of hand to keep you guessing until the last act. This is also a movie that will reward the audience on repeat viewings.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as a young physics academic who, with his mentor and boss, Dr. Margaret Matheson, (Sigourney Weaver) spend their time visiting those that claim to be able to manifest paranormal activity. Matheson has being doing this for a long time, and so can spot a phony pretty quickly. However, when the legendary but elusive blind psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) emerges following a mysterious 30 year absence, the once-fearless Matheson refuses to investigate him. Buckley is insistent that, in the interest of science, this man should also be investigated.

When eventually Silver agrees to be tested under laboratory conditions the existence of paranormal activity is about to be proved, or disproved to the entire world. On the surface Silver appears genuine and is certainly capable of feats and knowledge he certainly couldn't have discovered from any normal earthly way.

Red Lights keeps you on your toes as to whether Silver is a phony or genuinely in possession of paranormal powers. The writing is tight and the movie moves along at a breakneck pace not giving the viewer a second to collect their thoughts.

As the film neared its conclusion, I was seriously beginning to worry how everything would be resolved. If Silver was proven to possess super powers then there would go against the beliefs of the drive behind the main protagonists; and if he didn't have any abilities, and was just another con man, then how would they unmask and explain some of his impossible abilities? There needed to be something special at this movie's conclusion. Thankfully, and rather unpredictably, the movie shifts and surprises in its conclusion. And it's this twist that will decide whether you enjoy the movie or think it's a load of hogwash.

The acting is faultless, but De Niro (who doesn't actually do very much in the movie) adds the right air of authority, professionalism and believability to his role. He's not Robert De Niro, playing Robert De Niro once again, you really believe that he is Silver.

Another element worthy of note is the movie's soundtrack. It only shines through a couple of times, and stays hidden in the background for the majority of the film. However, when listened to in isolation it is a veritable feast for the ears.

Extras include Turning on the Red Light (10 min, 17 second 'Making of...' featurette); and Trailer (1 min, 34 sec).

While probably not destined to become a classic like well known films in a similar vein (The Sixth Sense, 12 Monkeys, Unbreakable or Jacob's Ladder), there is enough here to warrant adding Red Lights to your DVD collection.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£11.99 (
£11.99 (
£12.00 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.