You may remember that last month I got a chance to see a film screening, but I couldn’t tell you the name of the film.  What I said at the time was:

… it started out well, it was believable and suspenseful, and for the first third of the movie I was totally going along with it.  Then it started to derail, then it REALLY derailed, and by the end of the film it was so far off the tracks that I was stupefied.  We left the screening room, got outside to the sidewalk, and I turned to my Friend With Connections who got me into the screening and said, “What the everloving f— was THAT about???”

Well, now I can tell you, Dear Readers, that the film we saw was Red Lights starring Robert DeNiro and Sigourney Weaver, both of whom should have known better.

I don’t know if I would classify this as a bad movie, exactly, but … Okay, how about this.  Imagine this movie, about scientists debunking paranormal fakers, as a nice-looking sweater.  It’s not until you look at it closely that you notice a loose thread, and you give the thread a gentle tug to see what happens.  As time passes, you notice that the thread in your hand is coming loose faster and faster.  Finally, you see that there are more loose threads than you originally realized, they’re ALL pulling out of the sweater at the same time, and when all is said and done you’re standing there with a pile of thread and wondering what the hell just happened.

Watching Red Lights is kind of like that.

In any case, while I don’t recommend paying money to see this in the theater, it’s definitely worth seeing.  If only so that you can see how a filmmaker can start with a compelling premise, gain the audience’s trust in the promise that he will be telling a great story, and then throw that trust right out the window.

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