Red Eye

"Good"

Red Eye Review


Horror director Wes Craven has had his share of hits and misses. His strongest work encompasses the iconic (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and the ironic (Scream). His weakest outings give the genre a bad name (Deadly Friend). Red Eye, his latest effort, shows that while he may not drive your fingernails into the armrest like he used to, he still knows how to grab your attention.

The film begins with Lisa (Rachel McAdams), a driven professional, on her way to board the eponymous flight from Dallas to Miami. When the flight is delayed, she meets Jackson (Cillian Murphy), who, after some clumsy flirting, gains her trust. By apparent coincidence, they end up seated together when the flight finally takes off. Unfortunately, Jackson turns out to be part of a conspiracy to kill a Homeland Security bigwig and Lisa is a key to their plans. Jackson tells her that if she doesn't help, a man is waiting outside her father's house, ready to kill him.

A similar dilemma torments the hero of 1995's Nick of Time. There a man is faced with killing a politician in a mall to save his daughter's life. Here a simple phone call is all that is required of our heroine, and she has but a small fuselage to plot her escape. Craven makes good use of these restrictive elements, playing on our sense of entrapment as Lisa employs inventive measures to prevent the inevitable, checked at every turn by the equally clever Jackson.

Craven's history with strong female protagonists continues here with McAdams's riveting performance, which convinces us equally of Lisa's desperation and resourcefulness. Screenwriter Carl Ellsworth wisely gives Lisa enough of a backstory to make her resilience credible. Cillian Murphy is similarly compelling as Jackson, infusing the character with both the charisma to charm our heroine and the cool contempt to threaten her when the time comes.

Once the action leaves the plane, however, it also abandons plausibility, which was already in short supply. Worse yet, we get less of what makes Red Eye unique and more of what makes it like every other thriller, not to mention a few of Craven's own. If heroines throwing household items at killers advancing upon them up the stairs seems familiar, it's because you've seen it in every Scream film. It's perhaps inevitable that a Wes Craven film would devolve into a slasher flick (and not a terrible one), but for all intents and purposes, this one does. While the third act doesn't derail the film, it certainly doesn't do it any favors.

On the other hand, Craven and Ellsworth do a good job of building tension in the first act. If not for the urgent music telling you this is a thriller, you might think you'd stumbled into a romantic comedy about two star-crossed lovers who meet on a late night flight. When Jackson finally reveals his true colors, it's a moment that would pull the rug out from under you, if it weren't for the fact that every trailer (and, yes, review -- sorry) telegraphs his duplicity.

Ultimately, Red Eye does a competent job of executing its premise. While it doesn't fully mine the modern fear of post-9/11 air travel any more than it does the more primal fear of the man you like turning out to be a monster, it at least uses them as a jumping off point for a tightly wound thriller.

Aka Red-Eye.

The maid is so fired.



Red Eye

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th August 2005

Box Office USA: $57.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $57.9M

Budget: $26M

Distributed by: Dreamworks

Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, BenderSpink, Craven-Maddalena Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 147 Rotten: 39

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lisa Reisert, as Jackson Rippner, as Joe Reisert, as Cynthia, Laura Johnson as Blonde Woman, as Headphone Kid, as Nice Lady, as Senior Flight Attendant, as Charles Keefe, as Bob Taylor, Carl Gilliard as Taxi Driver, as Airline Representative, as Irate Passenger, Philip Pavel as Dallas Ticket Agent, Amber Mead as Dallas Ticket Agent, as Dallas Gate Agent, as Rebecca, Jeanine Jackson as Passenger with Iced Mocha

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.