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Red Eye

Review Written by: Will Penley
Film: B+
Video/Audio/Extras: A/A/B

Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Carl Ellsworth
Produced by: Chris Bender and Marianne Maddalena
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Angela Paton, Laura Johnson, Suzie Plakson
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

"My business is all about you."

Just when we thought Wes Craven couldn't scare us anymore! After the somewhat disappointing Scream sequels and the colossal flop that we know as Cursed, it seemed like Craven had lost his touch. He redeems himself completely with Red Eye, his new suspense-thriller starring the new "it" girl Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. It's a pretty simple movie with a simple plot, unlike some of Craven's previous efforts. Two films involving airplanes were released in 2005, this one and Flightplan. If you're at the local Blockbuster and you have to choose between the two, definitely go with Red Eye. Aside from Saw II, it's my favorite thriller of 2005.

Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) is the manager of a Miami Hotel. Her grandmother has recently passed away and it's on this night that she will make the flight home. However, the flight is very delayed, leaving Lisa stuck in the terminal until takeoff. While waiting, she meets a very interesting man called Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy), with whom she makes small talk until departure. However, when stepping onto the plane, she finds that the two of them are seated next to each other. This is no coincidence. As it turns out, Rippner has made arrangements for all of this because he needs Lisa's help to murder an important politician who is staying at her hotel!

Red Eye is, as the critic's blurb on the DVD cover says, a killer of a thriller. Craven has returned to form and succeeded with flying colors. McAdams and Murphy do extremely well in their roles here and this film will definitely look good on their resumes. The film gets a solid "B+." DreamWorks has been putting out a lot of quality DVDs lately and this one is no exception. The film looked great in theaters and the anamorphic widescreen transfer featured here looks really great. The film's explosive soundtrack translates well to DVD in the incarnation of a Dolby 5.1 track. Both the video and audio get an "A."

There aren't a ton of extras on the disc, but there's enough to hit any DVD lover's sweet spot. The first and most important extra is an audio commentary by director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier. This is a very solid track filled with great insights on the film and production stories. Well worth a listen, I must say. Following that are two standard featurettes on the making of film: "The Making of Red Eye" and "Wes Craven: A New Kind of Thriller." Rounding out the extras are a mildly humorous gag reel and a series of trailers for other DreamWorks releases (sadly, the Red Eye trailer is nowhere to be found).

Even though the extras are a bit lacking, I still give them a "B" because of the great commentary. This is a very decent package and if you're a fan of thrillers, you should definitely pick this one up, but those stuck in the mindset that Craven just can't do it anymore might just want to make this one a rental. They'll probably end up buying it, anyway.

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