The perfect antidote to bloated summer blockbusters such as ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘The Island’, Craven’s taut psychological thriller generates more suspense, character interest and excitement in its first 20 minutes than they managed in two hours. Mostly set onboard a commercial airliner cruising at 30,000 feet, ‘Red Eye’ takes a leaf out of ‘Phone Booth’s’ directory by making a virtue of its tight parameters. It also shows that veteran horror director Craven can venture outside familiar genre territory and still deliver thrills and chills.Flying home after her grandmother’s funeral, workaholic hotel manager Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams from ‘Mean Girls’) realises that her cosy seat next to the superficially charming Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) is not a romantic coincidence but a deadly trap. Without alerting the flight crew or their fellow passengers, Jackson quietly informs Lisa she is now part of a plot to assassinate the deputy director of Homeland Security, who will be staying at her hotel the following day. Carl Ellsworth’s smart script and Craven’s tight direction exploit not only the suspenseful situations, but also the complex, sexually tinged chemistry between the professional, problem-solving Lisa and her ruthless manipulator. Murphy and McAdams give their best performances yet, and there’s some leavening humour from first-time actor Jayma Mays as ditzy trainee hotel manager Cynthia, who becomes Lisa’s eyes and ears on the ground. The psychological mind-games are played to the hilt, the pressurised cabin air increases the edge-of-the-seat tension and the 85-minute flight time is gratifyingly short.
|Release date:||Friday September 2 2005|
Cast and crew