An Eye for an Eye (Red Eye, 2005)

The same year as Cursed, Craven gave us Red Eye. An entirely different creature than Cursed or Scream, Red Eye is a thriller set primarily on a plane. Rachel McAdams is hotel concierge Lisa, returning home to Miami after a funeral.

While waiting for her flight, she meets the charming Jack. And, for awhile, he seems to be a friendly guy…but once the flight is in motion, he reveals a dark motive. He tells Lisa that if she does not do him a favor, he will have her father killed.

Red Eye is, in contrast to Curse, a tight and tense story that never overstays its welcome. In the course of ten minutes, we learn that Lisa has been devoted to her job and has a “always serve the customer” ethic. When the young woman filling in for her, Cynthia, struggles with demanding regulars, Lisa politely chastises her. Lisa serves and as the film goes on, we discover there are reasons for her having chosen this attitude.

McAdams is someone you root for in the film, she is kind and loves her dad. Her increasing determination and Jack’s ability to interfere keep you at the edge of your seat. There is a moment early in the film where Lisa tries to calm down an irate and impatient person in line and Cillian Murphy’s Jack steps in when he continues to be rude. He is excessively polite with the man, but then gives him this look that suggests he could end the guy in a second, causing the man to back down.

Honestly, I cannot understand why we did not get some more of these from Craven. Effective and exciting smaller films would have paid off wonderfully for Craven, I suspect. He does such a terrific job here,I feel like we missed out.

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