RED EYE: DVD
Smart young hotel exec Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) is returning to her job in Miami on a delayed flight, seated next to Jackson (Cillian Murphy), a young man she met in the airport, who knows more about her than is normal. Jackson reveals the real reason he is on board: he is an operative in a plot to kill the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Lisa is the key to its success, because the hotel where she works is the venue for the planned hit. If she refuses to cooperate, her father (Brian Cox) will be killed by an assassin awaiting a call from Jackson.
Review by Louise Keller:
Red Eye is a taut, terrific thriller - from its claustrophobic airplane setting to its smart script and compelling performances. Director Wes Craven uses all the elements at hand to engross and keep us on edge. It's simply a good set up, well executed. What a perfect contrast to have dimpled girl-next-door Rachel McAdams as sassy hotel executive Lisa, who finds herself trapped in a window seat onboard a plane to Miami, next to the intimidating gaze of Cillian Murphy's ice-cold killer, Jackson.
The script takes full advantage of the claustrophobic possibilities on board the plane, as Lisa struggles with her fear of flying before realising she has far greater problems with which to deal. The seemingly happy coincidence of being seated next to the initially pseudo-charming Jackson quickly becomes a nightmare, when Lisa discovers the real reason for his attentions. If she doesn't make the phone call he demands, changing the accommodation details of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, her father (Brian Cox) will become a target. There is nothing more terrifying than being alone in a crowd- surrounded by other passengers, yet unable to tell anyone of her plight.
The unsettling score highlights the tension, while elements such as mid-air turbulence results not only in a bumpy ride, but limits the use of in-flight phones. There are distractions from other passengers - the ageing, over-tanned blonde, the friendly matron, two backpacking teens and the eleven year old travelling for the first time.
There is a new notch of terror at every turn, and even when the plane lands, it isn't over yet. Assassins have good taste these days - there's one waiting in a silver BMW, a team of professionals about to blow up a hotel suite and a crazed Cillian Murphy with a manic look in his eye. Luckily, Lisa is cool as a cucumber and has a mean swing with a hockey stick.
There are a few shortfalls in the script, such as the flappy incompetence of the replacement hotel receptionist and the climax is a little melodramatic, but Red Eye has plenty going for it in escapist terms. We are never in doubt of the outcome, but it's fun being terrified for the flight.
The onboard scenes are shot in film producer/sales executive Talaat Captain's facility Air Hollywood, and there's a tour on the DVD. There's an audio commentary with Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier, a making of feature and a gag reel.
Published January 19, 2006
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RED EYE: DVD (M)
CAST: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Tina Anderson
PRODUCER: Chris Bender, Marianne Maddalena
DIRECTOR: Wes Craven
SCRIPT: Carl Ellsworth, Dan Foos
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert D. Yeoman ASC
EDITOR: Stuart Levy, Patrick Lussier
MUSIC: Marco Beltrami
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bruce Alan Miller
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 1, 2005
SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker's Commentary; The Making Of Red Eye; Red Eye Gag Reel; Wes Craven: A New Kind of Thriller
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: January 18, 2006