Reviews: Red Lights

A good drama with more critical thinking than most, but still ends predictably.

Upon first seeing Red Lights suggested for me on Netflix, I could already tell how it was going to end. Why? Because all the Hollywood films dealing with the magical, paranormal or supernatural all seem to end the same way, summarized as: The Skeptic Is Always Wrong. Most films, this one included, do give us a number of "red herrings" for the skeptics to debunk, but that only sets things up for the real thing, inevitably revealed in the finale. This is tiresome, but of course Hollywood caters to popular culture, which seems to be clearly against skepticism. Would it have worked for the film to expose Simon Silver, while having some creepy, seemingly paranormal things along the way, which turn out to have natural explanations, with a conclusion which upholds critical thinking and skepticism? I have to admit, while it is possible, that might have been a less appealing film. However, we cannot know for sure until it's tried, and it seems clear, as with The Ledge, that even when Hollywood presents a positive representation of something usually disliked (skeptics here, atheists there) it still does so in such a cliched, melodramatic form, instead demonizing the opposing view.