The Ending Of Red Lights Explained

While the story of “Red Lights” is pure fiction, it is, amazingly, inspired by a combination of true events. “Everything you see in the film is real in a way, it belongs to a certain case, or is based on a certain case,” Rodrigo Cortés told Wired. The movie’s opening scene calls to mind the Spiritualist séance con phenoms, the Fox sisters. Silver himself seems ripped from the headlines about skeptic stage magician James Randi, who worked to expose spoon-bending “psychic” Uri Geller and lying “healer” Peter Popoff. But the research clearly doesn’t stop there.

In addition to pulling from real-life cases of paranormal debunkers and con artists, Cortés also researched magicians and their tricks. “I’ve been always interested in our mechanisms of perception and I believe that’s what illusionists play with,” he told NPR. “And I’m very interested, also, therefore, in stage magic. Probably magic and filmmaking, in a way, are exactly the same thing.”

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The movie operates much like a magic trick, especially with how it uses the Buckley character as a magician’s plant or trick hat, so to speak, right from the opening frame — and how it only reveals the illusion at the film’s end. As Buckley says to Sally, “The only way to pull a rabbit out of a hat is by putting it there in the first place.” In this case, however, Buckley is both the rabbit and the magician — and there’s something special, silly, and spoon-bendy about that.


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