Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox
Director: Wes Craven
Running Time: 85 mins
Red Eye is an American film about a woman who boards a heavily delayed night flight to Miami, but finds herself sat next to a man with sinister intentions.
It might seem like too dark a film to describe as such, but Red Eye is a really fun watch. With two brilliant lead performances from Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, effective and dynamic direction from Wes Craven and a story full of crowd-pleasing thrills, Red Eye is a real wild ride, and an immensely entertaining film to watch from start to finish.
One of the best things about this film is that, even though it takes quite a while to get into the main action, it’s a really engaging watch from the opening scene. With a fun bout of foreshadowing and a build-up of tension, director Wes Craven grabs you immediately as we move towards the airborne thrills.
Rachel McAdams is a likable lead right from the off, with an assurance and confidence that’s missing from so many female thriller leads. You side with her as soon as the film starts, and that makes her battle of wits with the sinister Cillian Murphy (who is also fantastic) huge fun to watch.
Red Eye finds impressively finds itself on the verge of being a full-blown blockbuster, yet manages to keep the majority of its action nicely contained to a tight cast and small scale. Most of the story follows the duel between McAdams and Murphy, with the action in a couple of locations away from the aeroplane playing in well to what’s happening up in the sky.
It’s not quite as claustrophobic a thriller as Flightplan, but Wes Craven does well to bring a more uncomfortable element to the table with the support of strong cinematography and set design within the plane. As a result, Red Eye is a fully convincing in-air thriller, but it’s never as unpleasantly stuffy as sitting in a real plane can be.
However, the main joy of Red Eye is its steady progression of tension and an ever-more ludicrous story that somehow manages to feel completely grounded at the same time. Cillian Murphy’s character is comically villainous at times, and the preposterous lengths that he will go to in order to get his way are seemingly ridiculous, but they work really well in the context of this film’s crowd-pleasing thrills and constant tension.
I’ll admit that this film didn’t have me biting my nails all the way through, but with good suspense from start to finish even through three very different stages of action, I have to say that Red Eye is a really great film, and a whole lot of fun to watch. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.8 overall.