The Toast | Red Lights

It was cold this past weekend, which meant that it was a movie night for me and my guy. After our last experience at the movie theaters, we decided we’d just rent something and spare ourselves the unwanted commentary. Usually, if there’s not somet

hing new released to the Redbox, I can’t find much to watch, but we found ourselves a gem this past weekend in a movie called Red Lights.

What really attracted us to the movie was the star-studded cast. Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Elizabeth Olsen and Joely Richardson are all featured in this thriller about Dr. Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Murphy). The two are professional skeptics and college professors who investigate paranormal cases and other cases of psychic phenomena. These two have famously debunked “miracles” of all sorts over the years by looking for what Matheson calls “red lights,” or clues as to how the person is performing this “miracle.” For example, they expose a famous psychic that is much like John Edwards by proving that the man is being fed information through an earpiece about the audience.

However, there was one case concerning the mysterious Simon Silver (De Niro) that Matheson could never solve. The blind psychic has just come out of a 30-year retirement and is determined to make a comeback. His early retirement came after the death of one of his biggest critics. Buckley is determined to get to the bottom of this man and his “powers.”

Matheson has warned her young assistant that this spoon bending, mind reading man is very powerful, dangerous and to stay away from him. Matheson has a run-in with him and she tells him that his charisma almost had her fooled once into believing and that truly frightened her. Buckley cannot be talked down; he knows that big things could come out of finding out Silver’s secrets.

Exposing Silver as a phony would do amazing things for Buckley’s career, reputation and perhaps even get Matheson the funding her college department so desperately needs. He becomes obsessed with Silver and even enlists the help of one of his students, Sally (Elizabeth Olsen) to get to the bottom of this case.

Buckley sees his opportunity to trap Silver in a corner when he announces that he is going to allow the college that Buckley works for to do a complete study of him. Positive results would mean the end of his and the Doctor’s career. He needs to find answers and he needs to find them quickly.

What I liked about the movie was the unknown. Was Silver really psychic or was it some huge hoax? There were parts that had you convinced that maybe he was truly gifted, but the next scene would make you doubt whether he really was or not. And the ending does not disappoint, there is a huge reveal, but things aren’t what they appear. What is this big revelation? You’re going to have to rent the movie to find out.



Written by: Katie Sperduti





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