Red Eye

Red Eye

***1/2

Reviewed by: Chris

Director Wes Craven, of Scream and Nightmare On Elm Street fame, takes a break from the horror genre to make a straightforward thriller - and keeps us on the edge of our seats for the 85-minute ride.

Red Eye hinges on a late night flight and in particular two passengers, who seemingly meet by coincidence, but in reality are part of a deadly agenda. The film starts with a dizzying sequence of events - a stolen wallet, a case of frozen fish being dumped, irate customers at a top hotel and a hotel supervisor, Lisa (Rachel McAdams), hurrying to the airport whilst juggling calls between a panicked receptionist on one line and an overprotective father (Brian Cox) on another.

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It comes as a welcome deep breath when the much-delayed flight is sorted out and Lisa is being relaxed and charmed by a nice guy she keeps bumping into during the wait. By the time they board the plane and - surprise, surprise! - she's been allocated a seat next to nice guy Jackson (Cillian Murphy), we are starting to think he's a bit too good to be true. He even calms her fears of flying during take-off, but at 35,000 feet his deadly game of menace and blackmail is revealed as more than just banter. Lisa has to use every ounce of her trammelled courage and well-parried wits to prevent horrible endings on both a personal and public level.

From a remarkably simple premise, Craven keeps us in suspense for the whole flight and we sympathise with Lisa's impossible moral dilemma. Only when we get to the last scene do we recognise that he is on more familiar territory with a predictable cat-and-mouse chase, but it's been such a thumpingly good knuckle-biter, who cares?

Red Eye is a well-delivered suspense story, unpretentious and engaging. It will hardly go down in history, but makes for a good evening's entertainment.

Reviewed on: 06 Sep 2005
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Killer on a plane.
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Anton Bitel **1/2

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