Red Lights 2012 ★½

Well, that was bitterly disappointing. For some reason, I thought that I might just end up being the one who would genuinely enjoy this film. Well, unfortunately, that isn't the case...

In theory, Red Lights should be a success. The premise is interesting, the characters have potential, the director / writer Rodrigo Cortés already proved himself with Buried, and if that wasn't enough, the cast is built on splendid actors. Yet instead of hitting all the right notes, Red Lights ends up being a train-wreck.

Before I tear into it, though, I'll give Red Lights a compliment: it had a well made title sequence. Nothing spectacular, or groundbreaking, but it was creative, and beautiful.

Its pacing, and plot construction, however, leave the viewer unengaged, and bored. The characters are all unlikeable, (the sole exception being Elizabeth Olsen's character, who simply isn't developed enough to be disliked). None of the characters are given genuine depth, so the acting ends up being all over the place, due to a boring and unfocused script.

The tedious pace tries to speed up at times, and even throws in a chase sequence, and at the oddest moments, but both are so poorly edited and uninspired, they simply become painful to watch.

And then, to finish a film that's already underwhelming and mediocre, Cortés throws in a twist. A terrible, terrible twist. A twist that makes no sense. No. Sense. At. All. A twist so bad I could rant on about it for hours, and hours, but I'll hold myself back, provided you understand this: it's a ridiculously stupid twist.

What saddens me most though, is that this film could have worked. It could have been a brilliant movie. Its premise, were it better written, with more interesting, and better developed characters, and more focused direction and editing, this could have been a genuinely gripping, mysterious, and entertaining thriller.

But it's not. Instead, Red Lights is boring, poorly paced, and at times downright stupid. My advice is for you to avoid it if possible. Don't be fooled by the names attached to the poster, or by the mysterious name and poster: you've got better things to do.

★½: It might have one, or possibly two elements that are appreciable, yet they're drowned out by a host of flaws and failings.

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