Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Lights

Red Lights

Directed by Rodrigo Cortés

Despite a truly intresting first act with great potential, Red Lights swiftly follows up with a disappointing second half, devolving into a series of lazy cliches and generic plot devices.

Generally, I find myself quite interested in the supernatural. In films, I feel the inclusion of some otherworldly force can be an excellent addition, giving the story a kind of mystic quality not found in most dramas. Sadly, this movie takes this potential and completely squanders it in return for cheap (and ineffective) thrills. In a strange twist of fate, I found myself disinterested in the movie once it seemed obvious that some form of genuinely supernatural powers were the cause of certain events in the film. Subtlety is not one of this movie's strong suits, as it seems the filmmakers felt it necessary to throw more and more at the audience in a desperate attempt to keep their interest. However, it was at this point that my interest went right out the window. Those familiar with the popular adage would most likely agree: sometimes 'less is more'.

Oddly enough, I feel Sigourney Weaver (who is easily my least favorite actor/actress in the movie's main cast) was the strongest presence in the film. De Niro, who has long since strayed from his old tendency to give multi-layered performances as opposed to simple caricatures, is yet again nothing to marvel at. An actor can only give uninspired performances for so long before I find it hard to enjoy their work anymore. Both Murphy and Olsen are adequate, though neither seem to give any more than they felt the movie deserved from them. As a whole, the acting in this movie is very dull, despite the incredible potential of the cast.

For a first half with so much potential, I found myself quite distressed at how poorly the film turned out. By the end, little of the same movie it was building to be in the first act was still present. Atmosphere totally lost. As I have made clear many, many times in the past, originality is not the most important thing to me, but when a movie strays from a fairly original idea to become a generic thriller like this, don't expect me to be happy about it.

The biggest disappointment about this film was its great potential. The first half had me hooked. I found it genuinely interesting as it kept me wondering how it might turn out. Much to my dismay, it turned out about as poorly as you could possibly expect it to. Ultimately, I would say this is one of the biggest letdowns of the year.

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