Friday, July 23, 2010

'Red Eye' soars into the unfriendly skies

Red Eye (2005)
Starring: Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy
Director: Wes Craven
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

With this 2005 chiller, Wes Craven proved that he still canmake movies that aren't self-referential, toungue-in-cheek horror efforts. With "Red Eye", Craven instead brought us a film that stands up to comparison with some of Alfred Hitchcock's best efforts.

The majority of the film tales place in the cramped confines of a red-eye flight from Texas to Florida, as hotel manager Lisa (McAdams) is heading back home. She ends up seated to a charming young named Jackson (Murphy). It turns out that the meeting was anything but chance--Jackson has been watching Lisa for weeks, and he is about to force her to make a cell-call to make her assistant switch the room of a US government official staying at her hotel so assassins can kill him. Lisa is given a choice: Cooperate or have her own father be the murder victim.

"Red Eye" doesn't break any new ground, but it does what it does extremely well. The tension never lets up from the moment Jackson's true nature is first revealed, and the excellent performances by McAdams and Murphy are so engaging that the viewer's attention is never allowed to wander for a second.

If you love thrillers of the Hitchcockian variety, "Red Eye" is a must-see. It also proves that Wes Craven can still direct films aside from goofy, self-referential horror flicks.

Please check tomorrow for a special post featuring an overview of Craven's famous "Scream" series.

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