It’s Day 12 of the horror review month and it’s time to review a type of film that I haven’t reviewed yet, a horror set on a plane. Planes are relatively decent locations for horror movies in theory as there is nowhere to go for the characters, they’re trapped.
For example, if you’ve seen World War Z, one of the standout scenes from that film is when the zombie infection starts spreading on the plane and Brad Pitt’s character has to set a grenade off within the compartment to stand any chance of saving him and his companion. On a plane there are hiding places, but nowhere to run to.
The only problem with horror films set on planes is that there aren’t many places that you can really go with them in terms of plot, so it’ll be interesting to see how this works.
A storm delays that last flight of the night from London to New York but it is eventually decided that the plane will take off as planned. Whilst boarding, the small amount of passengers spread out, although Bob (Dominic Burns) decides to take up his allocated seat, right next to Alan (Phillips), a man recovering from his fiancee leaving him just a week after their engagement, and starts chatting.
After a while Bob disappears, Alan reacts is a frantic way and is knocked out by Luke (Conway), a bodyguard for Max Korgen (Ford), an arms-dealer. When he awakens the issues continue and the list of people who disappear continues to grow. Soon after Kailash (Raji James) realises that the plane is turning and the plane turns out to now be heading for Florida and eventually South America.
As people keep disappearing, paranoia soon sets in regarding what’s happening and it eventually transpires that two characters aren’t all that they seem, and it’s two characters that you wouldn’t expect, but there are far more sinister things on board……
A decent horror set on a plane?
No, not in the slightest, but this isn’t because of a reason that you would think.
There was something really strange that I realised whilst watching Airborne, something that has never happened to me before. When I am going to review films on this site, I tend to want to review films that I haven’t seen before. I do occasionally write about films that I have seen previously watched, but I tend to avoid these…..but one thing I have never done before is gone into a film that I have never seen before….only to then realise after 20 or so minutes that I have actually seen it before hand.
I can’t recall when I saw it, or even how, but it doesn’t cast the film in a good light that I completely forgot that I had already seen it. That is the film in a nutshell, it is completely forgettable, there’s nothing unique or memorable about it in the slightest.
There are many reasons why it’s not memorable, ranging from it’s uninteresting characters, it’s subpar plot involving two seemingly unconnected strangers being an uncover criminal duo that you’ve heard several times before, a small role for a famous Hollywood star that is adverted as the main actor in some quarters, it’s not the lot.
Let’s start with the plot and unfortunately it just isn’t that interesting. I could go over it in far greater detail than I haveIt’s something that has been done so many times before and there is pretty much no original content included. It just plods along for just over 75 minutes without anything remarkable or even remotely interesting happen, it’s just kind of there.
This isn’t helped by there not being a single likable character in the entire runtime, nor is there an indentifiable main character through the 76 minutes. It’s very rare that you have a film that doesn’t have a main character and this film was in desperate need for one, or at least a character that you can fully get behind.
Whoever wrote the screenplay certainly didn’t help in this matter as all characters are one dimensional and fit into a stereotype. Alan Ford’s Max is just your typical London gangster style character (pretty much the same character he had in snatch), Simon Phillip’s Alan is just tedious, Fiona Ryan’s Rachel is just there without really doing anything, Mark Hamill’s Malcolm is in his final shit and he hopes it will quitely, but of course it doesn’t because why would it?
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the screenplay writer had a device that provided generic plot points, pressed the button and developed the plot from there, and the worst part of it is that there isn’t a single shread of horror in there. The movie advertised itself to be horror and yet there isn’t a single thing even remotely terrifying about any aspect of the film, other than that you’re wasting your time on it.
As much as the screenplay writer was putting together a confusing work, it’s even worse for the sound editor as the sound effects and soundtrack are just laughable, trying to create a false atmosphere. Let me put it this way, the trailer at the bottom of this page makes the film look exciting, tense and action packed, whereas it isn’t, and throughout the film it is trying to convince you that something tense is happening….when there is nothing happening.
A painfully bland film.
The very fact that I had completely forgotten that I had watched it should say it all about how unremarkable, bland and generic this is. And me not remembering is nothing to do with my memory, afterall, I can remember who scored the goals for Lincoln City in a pre-season friendly against Boston Town in 2003, something that I have not been prompted into remembering since.
This just poor film-making at it’s worst.