Red Eye (2005)

red eye poster 2005 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy

Gets a little loose at the final act

Movie Info

Movie Name: Red Eye

Studio:  DreamWorks Pictures/BenderSpink/Craven-Maddalena Films

Genre(s): Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): June 10, 2005 (Armenia)/August 4, 2005 (Premiere)/August 19, 2005 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

red eye airport cillian murphy rachel mcadams

Emily and Jack are about to have the relationship that neither one was looking for…in the rom-com Red Eye!

Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) is trying to get home to Miami and her job in a high end Miami hotel after attending the funeral of her grandmother.  While waiting at the airport for a red eye, she meets a stranger named Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) who as fate would have it is seated next to her on the plane…except it isn’t just fate.  Jackson knows exactly who Lisa is and where Lisa works…he has plans for a guest staying at the hotel and Lisa is key to those plans.  Lisa has a short flight to find a way out of Jackson’s grasp or her father (Brian Cox) could pay the price.

Directed by Wes Craven, Red Eye is a horror thriller.  Following Craven’s Cursed in 2004, the movie was released to mostly positive reviews.

On paper (and honestly in action), Red Eye is a cheesy thriller…but something about it works.  The movie is a fun ride (even a second viewing) and though it is one of Craven’s lesser works, it is a solid entry.

red eye bathroom scene cillian murphy rachel mcadams

I thought the Mile High Club was going to be a lot more fun

The film feels almost like a drugstore novel in plot and execution, but it is forgivable.  Like many thrillers, it bridges the territory between horror and suspense and features a charming killer…which is always the most terrifying.  The movie does rely on a lot of unrealistic chance and happenstance despite being a “plan” by the terrorists to complete an assassination (there was a good chance that the target would just switch hotels as part of a redundancy plan)…the fact that Murphy’s character is even able to stick so close to McAdam’s character is unrealistic, and they both have very unrealistic actions in the final act (including breaking many of Craven’s rules for survival from Scream).

What propels much of the film is the chemistry between McAdams and Murphy.  The movie starts out as a “meet cute” type romance that quickly devolves into cat and mouse.  McAdams reveals a rather unnecessary character backstory near the end for her motivations, but the movie’s attempts to keep the tension going works regardless.  Murphy’s doe eyes (which helped get him the part according to craven) are both steely but also can be extremely innocent looking…the great aspect of a killer.

red eye rachel mcadams cillian murphy ending

Lead him out of the house? Nope…I’m going to relive my lacrosse days!

The film is best when it is in the confines of the plane and Lisa’s attempts to escape or sabotage Murphy’s plot.  Much of the freewheeling last sequence doesn’t work as well and doesn’t fit the earlier tone as it almost becomes an action thriller at points (plus, in the recently post-9-11 world, two people sprinting through an airport after the report of an attack on a plane would probably not make it to the airport exit).

Ignore the realism of Red Eye, which can sometimes be hard to do, and just enjoy the film.  It is short and fast and sweet.  It doesn’t necessarily feel in Craven’s style, but it might be the most enjoyable of his post-Scream films.  Wes Craven followed Red Eye with his penultimate film My Soul to Take in 2010.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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