Film Review: Blood Red Sky

blood red sky stillReview By Frances Winston

Directed by: Peter Thorwarth – Starring: Chidi Ajufo, Peri Baumeister, Graham McTavish, Roland Møller, Dominic Purcell, Alexander Scheer

Available on Netflix now!

Air travel is currently stressful enough, so it must be so much harder when you are also struggling with illness like the protagonist here. Apparently suffering from cancer, she is travelling to the US with her young son. But then their plane is hijacked, and she is shot, and it becomes apparent that she doesn’t have cancer, but is in fact a vampire.

However, she is somewhat in control of her condition, and tries to use it to save the other passengers, until the terrorists also become ‘infected’ and literally all hell breaks loose on board. Yep, this is the premise. Think Snakes on a Plane meets Passenger 57, but with vampires, and you kind of get the idea.

I would love to tell you why the plane is hijacked, but I really have no clue. It seems to serve as a plot point to unleash her vampirism and not much else. Once she is transformed, much of the story deals with her struggle to keep her son safe and control her impulses. This is the only character writer and director, Thorwarth, tries to develop, as we get flashbacks to the night she was transformed. Everyone else is completely one-dimensional and clichéd.

The concept of setting a disaster or horror movie on a plane is not a new one. The claustrophobic location is supposed to give an added sense of dread. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work here, as this plane has an enormous storage hold, and opening the story up to include that somewhat eliminates the stifling feeling of an airplane cabin.

The plot has more holes in it than the necks of the vampire’s victims, and it strikes me as one of those films that seemed like a good idea for one paragraph, which ran out of steam pretty quickly. But rather than abandon it, they just threw in another plot tangent to stretch it out a bit. It also sets up ideas and then completely contradicts them, which will leave you scratching your head rather than focusing on what’s going on.

There are individual elements here that would make a good movie – a mother unwillingly turned into a vampire, trying to hold on to her humanity for the sake of her son, is a pretty good premise. But this completely goes off the rails and (literally) loses the plot.

This is unlikely to satisfy fans of vampire movies, probably won’t be scary enough for fans of the horror genre, will be too sedate for fans of the action genre and, despite the central story, doesn’t have enough emotional depth for fans of drama, and overall it doesn’t really know what it wants to be or who its audience is.

Back in the good old days of the video store, this would have been a straight to video offering. It’s not completely terrible, it’s just rather tedious.

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