Spooktober Movie Review – Red Eye (2005)

What is Red Eye?

After attending the funeral of her grandmother in Dallas, the Lux Atlantic Hotel manager Lisa is waiting for a flight to Miami. Due to the bad weather and consequent flight delay, she meets in the airport bar Jack Rippner, who is also in the waiting list. They sit together in the plane, and Jack reveals that he wants Lisa to change the room in Lux of an important American politician to facilitate a terrorist attempt against him. Otherwise, Lisa’s father will be killed by a hit man. Lisa has to decide what to do with the menacing man at her side. Red Eye was directed by Wes Craven and stars Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, and Brian Cox.

After having seen the Scream franchise countless times and watching A Nightmare on Elm Street all the way through for the first time last year, I thought I had a good idea of how Red Idea was going to go. Or just a good idea of how Craven was going to take the film, but I was proven very wrong very quickly into Red Eye. Red Eye is unlike anything I have ever seen Craven do before. I went in expecting a full horror movie, but there’s so much more going on in Red Eye than I originally thought. Red Eye is only partially an horror movie which I was surprised by and totally welcomed. Instead of being a complete horror movie, the first part of Red Eye is sorta a romantic comedy and the second part of it is without a doubt a thriller. And the final act of Red Eye is when it becomes the horror movie you went in expecting. I don’t think I ever seen a movie constructed like this before. Maybe I have and I am only forgetting it, but that doesn’t take away the fact that Red Eye is such a uniquely made film.

Along with it having three sections of the film each depicting a different genre, it also is super short. Red Eye is only a hour and 25 minutes long. One of the shortest horror movies I have ever seen. The length is part of the reason why I enjoyed Red Eye as much as I did. With a short runtime as Red Eye has, it has to tell it’s story quickly, but seamlessly as possible. And Red Eye does exactly that. It never has time to get boring because it goes through everything fast, but it never gets confusing. So while Red Eye is fast-paced and it’s storytelling goes by fairly quickly, Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy’s performances are really what ground the movie and keep you invested in the story. Red Eye does everything it sets out to accomplish. Once it finishes telling it’s story and it’s done. Red Eye refreshingly doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Red Eye’s premise is pretty unrealistic and the movie can get campy at times. This is neither a positive nor a negative on the movie, just something you have to accept in order to fully enjoy the movie. I was able to do this and I enjoyed Red Eye even if I never took it completely seriously. It’s just an easy movie to spend an hour on and turn your brain off while watching. Don’t take it more seriously than that or you will probably end up feeling disappointed with the film. It’s aware of it’s premise and knows it’s a little ridiculous. The film doesn’t take itself seriously, so if anyone decides to check out Red Eye make sure you don’t take it any more seriously than the film does. But overall, Red Eye is short, but an interesting campy horror/thriller that I’m glad I watched. It unveiled a new side of Wes Craven’s discography I wasn’t made aware of before and for that alone, I’m glad I watched it. If you’re at all a fan of Wes Craven, Rachel McAdams, and Cillian Murphy, I recommend seeking out Red Eye.

Have you watched Red Eye? If so, tell me what your thoughts were on it in the comments down below.


4 responses to “Spooktober Movie Review – Red Eye (2005)”

  1. I watched this a couple years ago and really enjoyed the claustrophobic elements and the performances (it reminded me of Jodie Foster’s Flightplan, probably just because of the airplane setting). But now that you outlined the three distinct portions–meet-cute rom-com, thriller, horror–it makes so much more sense.

    I got the rom-com and thriller part no problem, but I did find the ending pretty jarringly intense and out-of-place for how white-collar and sanitized the thriller/threat portion had been up until then. Like, Cillian just keeping on getting up and coming at her with the pen in his throat was pretty metal for any thriller that isn’t a Bourne film. He was genuinely horrific at the ending, and now that I know why, it makes my perception of the movie a little more coherent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t pick up on the different combinations of genres Red Eye was infused with on my first watch. On repeat viewings, is when I started to notice it and I’m glad I did. It made the film more interesting to rewatch and made the ending seem less out of place.

      Liked by 1 person

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