NEON LIGHTS on Netflix is a new psychological thriller that has a lot of good points. Unfortunately, it’s quite messy. Also, it seems to borrow a bit from a few other movies. This is fine, but the ending leaves you wanting more. Read our full Neon Lights movie review here!
NEON LIGHTS is a new movie on Netflix that is best described as a psychological thriller. With an emphasis on the “psychological” part. This is a real trip and not always one that manages to keep the full attention of its audience.
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Don’t get me wrong, this movie definitely manages to deliver a few amazing moments and scenes. So much so that I doubted the current IMDb rating of just 4.9. Unfortunately, the longer the movie went on, the more apparent it became why people lose patience with it. And this is despite the movie having a runtime of just 94 minutes.
Continue reading our Neon Lights movie review below. Find it on Netflix (US) from March 1, 2023.
The ending of Neon Lights is a puzzle with too many pieces missing
While the ending of Neon Lights does wrap up most of the story very nicely, we’re also left hanging in many ways. As one character keeps saying “Round and round and round we go”. However, when it comes to the ending, it’s like we’re not actually getting around all the story elements.
What’s real, and what’s not real?
Sure, if you dive into it and analyze it, you can come up with your own conclusion, but I felt unsure of a few elements. The story plays out in the past, the present, nightmares, and a whole lot of something in between.
And yes, there is an explanation for all of this. Just not one I think manages to actually explain all the questions you’ve left the audience with. In that exact sense, it is a puzzle with too many pieces still missing, when the end credits arrive. You will be able to see the full picture, but there is still too much lacking for it to be a fulfilling experience.
A very intriguing cast
While the story and overall movie left me wanting more, I did enjoy most of the performances. To be precise, there were no performances that I didn’t like. Just some that were stronger than others.
The main character of Clay, the tech genius, is portrayed by Dana Abraham who also co-wrote the script. As Clay, there are scenes that Dana Abraham is brilliant in. And, unfortunately, also a few scenes where he didn’t work for me. It becomes too theatrical and stereotypical in a cartoon-like way.
As a whole, Dana Abraham was good. However, based on the best scenes, he could’ve been better. Hopefully, we’ll see him at his best when he’s in the upcoming Orphan Black: Echoes.
In other key roles, we see Kim Coates (See for Me, Sons of Anarchy), Lauren Howe, Brit MacRea (Departure), René Escobar Jr., Stephen Tracey, Erika Swayze (Accused on Hulu), and Breanna Coates. And yes, she is related to Kim Coates (her father), and yes, she does really well here. Her character isn’t the best written, but that’s hardly her fault.
Watch Neon Lights on Netflix in the US now!
The director of Neon Light is Rouzbeh Heydari, who also gets writing credit along with the star of the movie, Dana Abraham, and Nikolas Benn. The latter is credited as a story editor. Rouzbeh Heydari recently also directed a few episodes of the Discovery+ Original Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life.
Despite the story being very slow-burn and too much of a psychological mess to feel complete, it does have amazing scenes along the way. Yes, amazing! In fact, one of my issues with the ending being incomplete was that I love where it went along the way. A little side story of sorts, which was never finished; Was it a nightmare, a memory, or something that has yet to happen?
Who knows? Certainly not me. And I actually really wanted to.
NEON LIGHTS is out on Netflix in the US on March 1, 2023.
Director: Rouzbeh Heydari
Writers: Dana Abraham, Nikolas Benn, Rouzbeh Heydari
Stars: Dana Abraham, Kim Coates, Brenna Coates, Brit MacRae, Erika Swayze, René Escobar Jr., Stephen Tracey, Lauren Howe
A distressed tech tycoon retreats to a remote estate, where he reunites with his foster family — but mysterious occurrences threaten their happy reunion.