Red Eye Wes Craven

Scream and Nightmare On Elm Street helmer Wes Craven returns for his first true directorial effort in a few years (forgetting the forgettable Cursed) with Red Eye. The film marks an unexpected and surprisingly dignified attempt from Craven to move from gore to more conventional thrills, and luckily he managed to get two actors with great screen presence to come along for the ride: Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. McAdams plays Lisa, a hotel manager on her way back home to Miami. Lisa runs into Murphy's character, Jack, while waiting for the delayed flight, and he turns on the charm by helping her verbally defeat a rude fellow passenger. It turns out Jack is actually seated next to her, but their fairy tale ends there, as shockingly enough Jack is not quite what he appears to be. There is nothing particularly special about Red Eye, but somehow it works anyway. Craven knows how to create suspense and does it wonderfully here. The pacing is just right and a story that could have been turned into an awful movie ends up more than satisfactory. This is due in large part to the actors, particularly McAdams, who is in nearly every scene and resists overacting to ground the film and make the viewer care for her cardboard character. It's nice when Hollywood's "It Girl" lives up to her hype. As conventional as the film is, more so is the DVD. There is a commentary by Craven, and a "run of the mill" "making of" featurette. The "Gag Reel" features a few decent outtakes, but overall it's nothing to go out of your way for. Even so, Red Eye is worth a look. Its old-fashioned tendency to find thrills without blood and guts is refreshing, especially coming from Craven. (Dreamworks/Universal)