- Wes Craven
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Thursday, October 06, 2005
The story concerns Lisa Reisert (McAdams), a young hotel manager who flew from Miami to Dallas for her grandmother’s funeral. Her plane back home gets delayed and she meets another unfortunate passenger of the same plane, Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy), with whom she has a few drinks before boarding. Then she boards the plane and finds out she’ll spend some more time with Jack as he has the seat right next to her. The plane takes off – and true horror begins.
Setting this film on a plane is probably a way to make the plot more suspenseful, as it’s claustrophobic and most people don’t love flying, but the thrills are rarely related to turbulence or any flight dysfunction. It’s all psychological, which proves way more effective. It’d be a sin to reveal the actual plot here, but I can tell you it’s handled beautifully. Though farfetched, it makes sense because it keeps its focus on the main characters instead of trying to explain reasons or motivations at another level. Every character that is somehow involved or happens to get involved in the situation is introduced gently and put on the spot inadvertently thus making the whole trip smooth. We have Brian Cox as Lisa’s unsuspecting father at home, Jayma Mays as Lisa’s stressed-out temporary replacement at the hotel, Angela Paton as a nice lady who loves Dr. Phil, etc.
Things are really well crafted by screenwriter Carl Ellsworth and as well handled by the director. There’s a few laughs, some jumps, and a lot of suspense. Only towards the end does the film resemble a typical Craven thriller, but by then we’re so immersed by the plot that it doesn’t matter, though it’s certainly not as good as the rest of the movie. Something else that bothered me a bit was the way the seat on the plane where our two leads are is the only one constantly lighted. Why make it so in-your-face without any subtlety? Like we’re going to forget who we’re interested in? I consider this a flaw.
The actors are all amazing but make no mistake, this is McAdams’ show. I just can’t take her out of my head; she’s mesmerizing, and the bravura of her performance (aided by the bravery and intelligence of her character) deserves high praise. Special mention also goes to Brian Cox, that versatile character actor who seems to be in every Hollywood movie playing a completely different character and always gets it right. He’s awesome. Murphy dangerously leans toward cliché but somehow evades it and comes off believable too.
“No... that it would never happen again.”
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Other reviews of Red Eye (2005): Morris