Returning home to Miami from Texas on a delayed Red Eye, Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams), manager at the Lux Hotel, is drawn into a terrorist plot to assassinate the Deputy of Homeland Security Charles Keefe. With her father’s life hanging in the balance of her decision Lisa is given the choice between her father’s safety and Keefe’s life when Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) gives her the ultimatum while 20,000 ft in the air.
Directed by Wes Craven, this thriller does a great job in creating tense moments, exciting action and enjoyable viewing. When we’re first introduced to Lisa we meet a woman who seems sure of herself, assertive in her job and rather confident. McAdams does a wonderful job at playing the woman who is comfortable in her life and sure of herself. But the further Rippner pushes her, with his ability to nonchalantly make dire threats and torment her, the more we see her attempt to cling onto that power that she holds so dear. The confide space of the plane is made even tighter with the two sat next to one another in coach class leaving very little but their exciting chemistry to keep this film strong (at least for the most part).
Craven’s ability to create a suspense filled flick certainly shines here as his direction is fast paced, hoodwinking us throughout to keep us hanging on. The film has Craven’s signature direction across every scene if you couldn’t tell before, the final act absolutely screams that. For the score Craven teamed up with Marco Beltrami, who was also responsible for the Scream score, it goes hand in hand to create that thrilling ambiance that is vital for a thriller.
As the scenery shifts from areoplane to her father’s house Lisa almost steps into the Final Girl role in the sense that she is no longer a victim. It’s revelaed that Lisa was a victim of an attack a couple of years previous, making her strength and control all that more important. The most important thing about McAdams performance is that it isn’t extra. She keeps it steady and controlled making the watch even more exciting.
Cillian, who was born to play crazy, is fantastic at doing just that. He’s manipulative and psychotic but he doesn’t take it too far. Before revealing his terrorist plot, he plays on the charming and awkward flirting before the conversation about his job comes up and he so elegantly reveals his true self as naturally as he breathes.
While there are times where it is extravagant and outrageous, Red Eye makes for a gripping watch. It does what it needs to do in being a tense and heart pounding hour and a half but doesn’t leave you feeling drained like so many other thrillers. It delivers on plot, which is quite basic but works well, and the acting is great. Craven does what he does best and it was nice seeing something from a different genre from him. I shouldn’t have waited so long to watch.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Thanks for reading,
all the best,