Don’t fly to Red Eye

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    Pack two attractive people (one of them slightly unbalanced), an assassination plot and a luxury hotel into a plane and 80ish minutes later, you get… nothing.

    Wes Craven’s new suspense thriller, Red Eye, was one of the most touted movies of late summer, boasting the suspense of Phone Booth and the oft-sadistic mind of Wes Craven.

    Unfortunately, the movie sucked.

    Though the cast was composed almost entirely of relatively unknown actors, stars Rachel McAdams (The Notebook and Mean Girls) and Cillian Murphy (Jack) carried the intense scenes surprisingly well.

    The plot was relatively simple: Lisa, a hotel manager (McAdams), makes friends with fellow airline passenger, Jack (Murphy), who just happens to have government heads assassinated.

    Using her father as collateral, Jack uses Lisa to off the Secretary of Homeland Security (Jack Scalia), who is staying in her hotel.

    Cillian Murphy plays the modern psycho; he’s so insane, he makes you feel bad for him. He definitely got the intensity part down, with those electric blue, mind-melting eyes of his. In some of the actual airplane scenes, things are so fevered, you actually expect these two people who so despise each other to start making out.

    McAdams handled the thickly emotional role perfectly.  And every great actress must do one atrocious horror movie to “make it.”  Kind of like Paris Hilton. Oh wait, that was the only movie she’s done.

    While it was suspenseful and succeeded in holding the audience’s attention, some of the scenes that were supposed to be frightening just came off as funny.

    Like when Jack got a Frankenstein pen stabbed in his throat, he stole some woman’s burgundy silk scarf and tied it around his damaged neck, making him look like some pompous Brit going to Ascot.

    The laughable scarf coupled with multiple injuries results in Jack limping helter skelter, chasing able-bodied Lisa with a ridiculous 12-inch dagger.

    The role of Lisa seems one that Jennifer Garner could have filled, with the physicality involved, but McAdams was perfect in the role, whereas Jennifer Garner would have sucked.

    There was an audible murmur of “Is that it?” when the movie ended. It was about as long as a Disney animated film, and with previews, it was 75 minutes max.

    It was the typical Wes Craven ending: beautiful girl is made stronger by trials of inexplicable horror and has finally faced up to her own personal demons (Neve Campbell in the Scream trilogy, anyone?).

    The movie came in second at the box office for the weekend, grossing $16.2 billion.  Granted, the competition was The 40-Year Old Virgin and Four Brothers.  Good for mindless summer viewing, but definitely not one of Craven’s best.