Directed by Wes Craven, starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays and Jack Scalia.
Having become something of a regular cinema fixture in the 1990s with 'Passenger 57', 'Executive Decision' and 'Air Force One', the aeroplane thriller has not featured on the big screen since 11 September. But now 'Scream' director Wes Craven has revived the genre with a taut and fast-moving two-hander that builds on Irish actor Cillian Murphy's ever-growing reputation.
Flying back from her grandmother's funeral, Miami hotel employee Lisa Reisert (McAdams) is delayed at the airport in Dallas where she meets charming stranger Jackson Rippner (Murphy). Once the flight schedule returns to normal, Lisa boards her plane and finds that Rippner is in the seat next to her. But this is no-coincidence, and Rippner's façade will soon drop - to reveal a plan to kill a guest at Lisa's place of work.
From the opening credits Craven makes sure the pace doesn't lag and that's one of 'Red Eye's two biggest assets, because the plot is so ludicrous it needs breakneck speed to suspend disbelief. The other one is having Murphy as the villain - a lesser actor in the role and the ride wouldn't have been half as entertaining. Here as the broody bad guy, capable of sudden bursts of violence and seemingly always one step-ahead, he ensures that every scene in the plane is an, ahem, edge-of-the-seat affair, with McAdams also in good form as his resourceful victim.
Where the film encounters turbulence is on terra firma. Once Murphy and McAdams' characters disembark, Craven reverts to the stalk-and-slash formula he made his name with and much of the edginess which had risen steadily at 30,000 feet is lost. 'Red Eye' ends exactly as you'd expect, but at just 85 minutes - and unlike many people who sit beside you on flights - it doesn't wear out its welcome.