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It's Time to Catch that Red Eye

Published August 19, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Dreamworks Pictures
Red Eye Poster Red Eye
Wes Craven delivers a thriller of a film in the high - altitude story of a girl placed in a familiar situation only a couple years before. Now, if you are one of those who will be heading into Red Eye expecting a horror film, you have another thing coming. However, don't worry, it turns out that Wes Craven may actually make a better 'thriller' than he does 'horror.'

Red Eye Movie Review

Let's face it, Wes Craven has been due a new genre after he attempted to entertain audiences with his 'horrid horror' Cursed. Taking a step in the right direction, Craven has created Red Eye, a film that tells of a single event with a story that covers just enough hours for a flight from Texas to Miami. However, this film moves exceedingly quick, with a running time of just under an hour and a half.

Though I was first skeptical of the short runtime for Red Eye, I do admit that it works perfectly for the story. Wes Craven leaves out all the bullshit and only tells what matters. Here we have Lisa Reisert [Rachel McAdams] who encounters a seemingly nice gentleman named Jackson Rippner [Cillian Murphy] before boarding her flight to Miami. It just so happens that Jackson has a seat right next to Lisa's, something that is more than coincidence. Upon take-off Lisa discovers the deception behind Jackson Rippner, and how he, and co-workers, are currently holding her father 'hostage' unless she complies with their demands. But what could they possibly want?

It turns out that Lisa is a top-ranking manager at the Lux Atlantic Hotel. It also just so happens that this very same hotel is currently awaiting the arrival of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, a man who has taken a strong stand against terrorism. All Lisa has to do is make a phone call and move the Secretary to a designated room explained by Rippner. While this task seems easy, Lisa's morals will not allow her to make the call, and she has already promised herself that she would never put herself in the 'controlled' position again. But what can she do?

Red Eye Red Eye
Red Eye answers this simple question-- What can you do when you are stuck in a hostage situation at 35,000 feet? Even though Wes Craven only allows Lisa to make a few attempts to notify authorities of her current dilemma, the options are limited, as Jackson has a very watchful eye. A good portion of Red Eye spends more time on the spiraling relationship between Lisa and Jackson, and how they attempt to cope with and influence one another.

What really makes Red Eye work is the fact that Wes Craven stuck strictly to the story between Lisa and Jackson and the choice of actors who played those roles. Cillian Murphy could play this type of role a hundred times over in a bunch of different films and nobody could offer a complaint for it. He excels at being that charming, yet creepy, individual who has an uncomfortable mix of fragility and authority. Rachel McAdams was a shoe-in when it came to her ability to show emotion on camera and show off her beautiful expressions. Damn this girl is gorgeous, may she never go back to blonde hair.

Wes Craven drew up a thriller of a story and found the perfect cast, a cast that includes the great Brian Cox, to tell a simple event that entwines great dialogue [for the most part], wonderful cinematography, a couple of laughs, and more than a few thrills along the way. Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams make a perfect on-screen duo, may I hope to see them together again in the future; maybe this time in a better light.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of Dreamworks Pictures

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