The action-packed thriller Red Lights, filmed in 2012 by director Rodrigo Cortes, touches upon the problem of communication with otherworldly forces and the perception of what is happening through the eyes of a scientist and a believer. Can supernatural abilities give ordinary people strength, or do they bring to life only a series of misfortunes and horrors? Despite the differing opinions of film critics who evaluated the film differently, it appealed to many viewers, forcing them to think about important and interesting problems that many do not pay attention to in everyday life.
The meaning of the movie “Red Lights”
The main character, a psychologist and professor at the prestigious Margaret Matson University, is engaged in exposing the paranormal. She teaches students about exposing scammers who allegedly communicate with spirits, and also visits with her young assistant, Tom Buckley, a specialist in physics, various houses to conduct tests and subsequent exposure of alleged manifestations of extraterrestrial power. Despite the tense business atmosphere, there is a very warm relationship between the mentor and the ward. She initiates him into her problems and shares her feelings about her son, who has not come out of a vegetative coma for many years, he also consults with a mentor about his future career and personal life.
One day, Margaret’s assistant invites her to take on the case of Simon Silver, who, unexpectedly for everyone, continued psychic activity thirty years after starting the game with otherworldly forces. In relation to the subject of the study, the heroine has a negative attitude. She openly reproaches the psychic for the fact that the journalist who tried to expose him many years ago died suddenly under mysterious circumstances and forbids the assistant to take up the investigation. During the quarrel, Thomas learns that the enmity between the late Matheson and Silver is much deeper than it might seem at first glance: the once talented psychic advised the woman, trying to get in touch with the spirit of her son, who is in a coma.
However, a young and ambitious young man, despite the ban, comes to Silver’s new show in order to refute the miraculous abilities of a blind psychic. Suddenly, the equipment that Barkley uses in his work breaks down. Struck by what he saw, the young man returns to the professor under whose supervision he works, but finds Margaret Matheson unconscious. Doctors fail to save a hospitalized woman. The sudden death of the professor, who warned of Silver’s deceit, only strengthens the guy’s intentions to understand the affairs of a showman with paranormal abilities.
The guy gets involved in a dangerous game, which, as it seems to many, is controlled by someone more powerful than a mere mortal, albeit one with supernatural powers, a person. Despite the obstacles that arise (damaged equipment and the destruction of a scientific laboratory), Tom and his team manage to get the opportunity to verify the authenticity of the abilities of the legendary psychic, who at first easily passes all the tests offered by scientists. However, the young researcher is convinced that the show played out by Silver is a hoax and finds evidence of this, captured on videotape.
For the final exposure of the charlatan, Thomas, risking his life, again comes to the show hosted by Silver and publicly exposes him, demonstrating a scheme of deception and proving the imaginary blindness of the “psychic”. However, the young scientist is in no hurry to put an end to this, declaring to the audience that he himself is the owner of supernatural abilities.
In the final scene, the young man voices a letter written for the late mentor, in which he talks about the reasons that prompted him to seek refuge in rationalism, being living proof of the irrational.
The film raises the problems of indestructible hope and faith that live in people who find themselves in difficult life situations, even if this requires the rejection of rationalism. It is sometimes easier to believe in a miracle than to come to terms with an incurable disease and death. However, cheating can also be dangerous. Especially when you deceive yourself, refusing to understand obvious things that do not fit into the usual and established picture of the world. Especially when you call your own existence a lie.
The meaning of the film’s ending
The possibilities of a person are endless: with the same ease with which a person can come up with various fables, he, with the help of certain forces inherent in him, can bring the most incredible ideas to life and realize the most incredible abilities inherent in him by nature. There is only one barrier between acceptance and fulfillment: self-acceptance.
The main victory was not the exposure of Simon Silver, but the recognition (first of all, to himself) that far from everything that makes up the solid foundation of rationalism can control a person’s life, suppressing what is natural for him, although it goes beyond the general ideas about human ability.
It is the need for self-knowledge, followed by acceptance, that can shed light on any mystery and expose genuine deceptions.