Through the monotony of normal life, we’re often drawn to the extraordinary for a magical break. When it comes to cinema, this need for something exciting benefits both viewers and producers, as moviegoers devour every film within their genre of choice and ideally get a different experience from each story. Psychic powers is one such theme that makes a lot of fans happy and regularly resurfaces over time. In fact, the past decade has given us some quality clairvoyant thrills. Here are three of the best.
Red Lights (2012)
Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy play a pair of scientists investigating a famous psychic in the form of Robert De Niro. Logic and the paranormal clash in a smooth and twist-filled plot. Despite mixed reviews about the second half of the film, it still boasts a 6.2 rating on IMDB, as well as a cast and story worth jumping into for a popcorn-fuelled evening. The heavy fantasy that tends to go with paranormal tales makes those rooted in the real world, such as this plot, much more refreshing and interesting.
Another recent production with a powerful team and grounded approach. This time it’s Antony Hopkins wearing the mantle of clairvoyant, alongside Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Abbie Cornish as the detectives seeking his aid against a serial killer. The antagonist, however, played by Colin Farrell, proves to be more than a match for Hopkins. Moral and existential questions jump out of this intriguing plot.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
The much-anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining largely met fans’ expectations. Not only that, but the author himself felt this production redeems Stanley Kubrick’s take on the original book, CNBC reports. Ewan McGregor is Dan Torrance, all grown up and in control of his psychic powers. But when a cult of immortals that feed on such abilities to survive threatens a young girl, Dan must do everything he can to protect her, including facing his past.
Why Are Psychics So Popular in Film?
A few things contribute to the appeal of clairvoyants in film. Seeing this uncanny ability in action makes you wonder about human potential and what this kind of intuition could achieve. Mobile technology pushes that question further with apps like Palm Reader and Astro Guru that give users the power to start exploring their own future. You can find guidance, motivation and fulfilment through them or skilled tarot readers and astrologers on services like TheCircle. Real-life psychics offer unique answers and support in times of doubt or crisis, something which cinema enjoys portraying in more extreme situations. And that’s what draws our curiosity the most: how far could psychic abilities go to help people or even save the world?
Psychic-themed cinema can say a lot about the human mind, but also pose fascinating questions about reality and ethics. The three films above are great examples of productions that aim for good filmmaking while urging viewers to think outside the box. As entertaining as super magical stories are, it’s those closer to our sense of normality that thrill us the most.