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Thursday, July 21, 2022

Review: Neon Lights

Director: Rouzbeh Heydari

Screenplay: Dana Abraham, Nikolas Benn, and Rouzbeh Heydari

Year: 2022

Clay is a successful developer of computer programs. In an attempt to reconnect with his family and work through his past traumas, Clay invites his brothers to his country mansion for a few days together. What should have been a visit to reconnect and smooth things over ends 

The opening scene of “Neon Lights” begins by making it clear that Clay's idea of ​​spending a few days with his family will not end in the best way. After this revealing start, we only have to see how the days they spend together unfold and how such a dramatic outcome is reached. However, starting out this way doesn't do “Neon Lights” any favors.

The main problem of "Neon Lights" lies in the slow development, which can be attributed to the tight budget. This kind of slow-cooked development benefits from building as much suspense as possible, but knowing how the siblings' sharing will end takes away from that potential suspense. But revealing part of his ending doesn't stop him from delivering a surprise twist ending.

The tight budget is presented in how simple the visuals are and the limitation of being unable to show everything on stage, but it does not represent an impediment for the rest of the film. The plot’s development, although slow, flows in a good way thanks to the great performances of its cast; undoubtedly, the best thing about the film. It is clear there was a clear plan for what each character represents in the story, and each actor manages to interest the viewer in the characters and their interactions. 

The classification of “Neon Lights” as a psychological horror cannot do it more justice. The vast majority of the plot focuses on exploring trauma and mental health issues and how these can affect a person for the rest of their lives. As expected, the psychological element plays an important role in creating an environment of uncertainty and tension that defines the tone of the development. 

Although somewhat slow in development and off to a very unfavorable start, “Neon Lights” turns out to be an interesting film, delving into mental health issues to fuel a captivating plot. The cast and director’s talent overcomes the budget limitations to offer a film that manages to shine for its story and performances. For those who enjoy slow-cooking movies with psychological themes, "Neon Lights" is an interesting proposition.

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