Friday, 9 November 2012

Powerless Paranormals

Red Lights is a starry thriller about psychics and sceptics that, despite the classy production values, has little original to say about either and isn't particularly thrilling. Cillian and Sigourney play a pair of sceptical paranormal investigators who debunk about exposing charlatans and the deluded but when a once-famous medium, played by De Niro, rolls back into town things get all serious and they're faced with someone with seemingly genuine powers. It's well acted, nicely shot and there's a surprisingly realistic representation of the work of parapsychologists but that's all thrown away by a denouement of unabashed mumbo jumbo.

Clint's Hereafter, on the other hand, takes on a more traditionally dim-witted perspective on the paranormal and is just as unsatisfying. Matt Damon leads the cast playing a reluctant medium who slowly ties the disparate threads of the story together into one giant mawkish, internationally-flavoured lump of schmaltz. Eastwood can make decent films and though it looks nice and the characterisation/script are of a reasonable standard I found the plot is too earnest, too po-faced that I almost fell asleep twice. One for the true believers only.

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