If you’re looking for a mildly entertaining thriller taking place on an airplane, you’ve just found it. Simple and straightforward, Red Eye is a good movie worth watching. We will be following Lisa, a hotel manager who finds herself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy after boarding an overnight flight to Miami. I remember watching this movie for the first time right as it came out, expecting a bloody and thrilling horror movie. Mostly because the director is none other than Wes Craven, the man behind such masterpieces as Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, the movie turned out to be a mainstream thriller featuring excellent direction and fast pacing.
Air travel is oftentimes not fun and the movie Red Eye makes use of that fact to generate a lot of humor. You can feel that they were trying to make the whole story relatable with familiar characters and their relatively reasonable reactions. Despite this somewhat generic premise, the movie keeps throwing these curve balls every ten minutes. Wes Craven is truly a master and his ability to generate tension and weave in different elements of the story into a cohesive narrative is impeccable. Although toward the end you can feel this simplistic story forcefully being brought to an expected conclusion.
Which is too bad since it had a lot of potentials. For example, 2005 saw another great thriller taking place aboard a plane. Flightplan starring Jodie Foster is a much better movie with a lot more tension and suspense. So, if you’re looking for movies like Red Eye, I suggest you check it out. Moving on, the cast was great. Rachel McAdams was natural and convincing while I just could not get used to Cillian Murphy’s accent. I don’t know why, perhaps I watched Peaky Blinders too much. Wes Craven says his eyes got him the part and I can see why that happened. The man could charm the socks off anyone. Apart from him, it was also nice to see Brian Cox, playing the role of Lisa’s father.
Hotel manager Lisa Reisert just barely made it in time for boarding her overnight flight to Miami. Before entering the plane, she meets a handsome and charming young man, Jackson Rippner. The two of them hit it off immedietily and have a drink before the flight. When they finally board the plane, Lisa and Jackson find themselves sitting right next to each other. It would appear that this is going to be quite a pleasant flight. However, trouble is looming just around the corner.
As a fan of airplane movies, my bar is pretty low when it comes to their quality. However, I assure you that Red Eye is going to be just fine. Sure, some elements of the story and dialogue could be better but you can say that about any movie. I even found it to be quite relaxing as the story was predictable. Especially if you’ve seen a lot of these movies. The performances and Wes Craven’s intelligent direction is what made this movie so effective. Although I would argue that its biggest quality is its undemanding nature. Sometimes you don’t want to get too involved in a movie.
Sometimes you just want something playing in the background and this is exactly that type of a movie. With exactly one great and unexpected moment towards the end showing just how good it could’ve been. They say pen is mightier than a sword and I guess they were right.
Director: Wes Craven
Writers: Carl Ellsworth, Dan Foos
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Angela Paton, Jack Scalia
Fun Facts: The original leads were Sean Penn and Robin Wright. However, Wes Craven thought that the movie needed a younger cast and that’s how we ended up with Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy.