Monday, November 19, 2007

Red Eye

I’m not sure why I didn’t see this film when it first came out. I suspect it had something to do with me childishly refusing to see a Wes Craven film that was only PG-13 and not R. This, of course, comes from the same person that actually purchased a copy of Sasquatch, so you should be careful about listening to me when it comes to opinions on films I haven’t seen yet.

This is one of the better thrillers set on a plane I’ve seen, easily outclassing films like Flightplan and Flight of the Living Dead (though it doesn’t quite match the sheer fun factor of Snakes on a Plane). The film follows the owner of a hotel as she takes a late night flight back to her home in Miami, only to be menaced by an assassin sitting next to her who plans to use her to kill a Homeland Security higher-up who’s arriving at her hotel in the morning. The killer, as is the case with several of the actors here, looked vaguely familiar to me, so I wasn’t too surprised when I just checked his IMDB and found out he was Cillian Murphy, who I’d also seen in 28 Days Later and Batman Begins. Here he perfectly oozes creepiness, even at the beginning when he’s trying to be charming.

What I really enjoyed about this film was the actual intelligence that went into the screenplay. Neither of the two main characters are idiots, and they spend the whole flight (and the aftermath) trying to outwit each other in pretty believable ways. There’s also a great deal of tension throughout the film, as Craven really brought his A game to this effort. Despite it being PG-13 for the kiddies, he also managed to make it surprisingly violent at the end, as there’s a pretty vicious chase and end fight between the two once the plane lands (spoilers, I guess, for those of you thought it would stay in flight forever). If not Craven’s best (New Nightmare will probably always hold that title for me), it’s certainly one of his top efforts, and is one of his only good efforts that non-horror fans can enjoy too. Go check it out.

Rating: ***

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