Directed by Wes Craven. USA. 2005.

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Most kids have a fascination with scary movies. You parents know what I'm talking about. I refer to them as "Glop Cinema." They're the movies featuring the cast of intellectual giants who enter haunted houses, notice blood dripping down the windows and casually remark, "In these older houses, you're going to get a certain amount of window blood." Then, when the cast is being efficiently sucked through the Demonic Dryer from Hell, (If you're anything like me) you munch your popcorn and quietly think, "They deserved it."

In the world of Glop, there is noone more prolific then Mr. Wes Craven. He has brought the world everything from Freddy Krueger, to being the cause of 1,000,000,000 ghost face masks being sold last Halloween. He has launched careers (Yes Johnny Depp, I'm talking about you,) and caused more nightmares then any of his Hollywood counterparts. His movies tend to feature more red dye no. 5, and body parts flinging in every direction then any of his contemporaries. While I do enjoy a good thriller, I am NOT a fan of horror movies in general. Yet I go to see Wes Craven's films, because I keep hoping that, eventually, he'd hit upon a simple fact. His plot lines are scary all on their own. I have always maintained that if the man would cut out the glop, his movies would go shooting up to some of the best thrillers ever made.

It's nice to be right. Red Eye is one of the best thrillers that I have ever seen.

Red Eye is the story of Lisa Reisert. Lisa, a busy resort manager, is attempting to catch the final flight of the day back to her hotel, before an important political guest comes to stay.  Unbeknowst to her, fellow passenger Jackson Rippner also has interests in her new resort guest, and is holding her father's life in his hands to force Lisa to see things his way...

Red Eye. All rights reserved.Racheal McAdams (The Notebook, Wedding Crashers) plays Lisa. Aside from being a stunningly expressive actress, being able to portray a wide range of emotions with a simple look, shake of her hand, or gesture, McAdams is in the unique position of effectively playing the first female lead in a thriller, (in recent memory) who doesn't simply sit back, scream in the corners, and wait to be rescued by the first male character to come ambling along. McAdams infuses Lisa with strength, smarts, and bravery. She makes Lisa's desperation palpable, her determination tangible. A very impressive portrayal.

Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) (who's name I still haven't figured out how to pronounce) plays villain Jackson Rippner and does it masterfully. His Jackson is, at once sinister and sexy. I would defy you to find one woman in the audience who wasn't entranced. We all knew he was evil. We did not care. Murphy's Rippner is a picture perfect villain. Matter of fact, Coldly menacing. Murphy gives an unique intensity to his performance, making his villain multi-dimensional, subtly wrapping the audience around his little finger before he reveals his diabolical plans to Lisa. Rippner is funny. He's charming. He's smart. Murphy gives his performance an almost animalistic touch, charming Lisa, while at the same time getting ready to go in for the kill. Watching him, I was struck by how much he reminded me of Jack Nicholson. Same powerful eyes. Same magnetic smile. And, I would be willing to bet a good deal of money on Murphy having the same career longevity. After seeing him pull off a brilliant performance in the latest installment of "Batman," and being blown away by him in "Red Eye," I will be very interested to see what Murphy does next.

Red Eye is a marvel. Wes Craven has drifted back to the thrillers of 40 years ago, relying simply on story, script, and powerful performances to make a pitch perfect movie. Craven has given this wonderful thriller moments of humour, sympathy, and absolute terror. I screamed out loud at this one. (Something I haven't done in about 5 years.) If this is something that is appropriate for your childs age group, or sensitivity level I highly recommend it. Movies that parents and kids of this particular age can enjoy together are a rare thing.

Appropriate Ages: 10 and up
Warning Bells: INTENSE action sequences/ brief graphic violence/ references to sexual assault
Parental Film Barometer: If your child has watched any of Wes Craven's previous work (Scream, Nightmare on
Elm Street) they shouldn't have a problem with Red Eye.

Jen Johnston
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