(gb) wrote: For those of you who may not know, one of my biggest phobias is flying. And perhaps phobia isn't really the right term to describe it, since it's not like I assume the fetal position whenever I see a plane or I see sequences in movies where character(s) may be flying. It's not even that extreme. And I don't even mean I'm against the concept of getting on a plane and flying somewhere, since I have done it before and, I'm sure, will do it again. What I'm afraid of is finding myself in a situation where something happens during the flight and nothing can be done to fix it. And I realize that flying is a safer form of transportation than driving, but it's an irrational fear. That fear I have of being in that situation is better and more tense than this movie ended up being. Look, I get it, there needs to be movies like this. Sometimes filmmakers like to stock up on their portfolio, they want to expand their filmography, get some more experience under their belts, even if that works ends up being no good. To accomplish those goals, sometimes, you make a film that looks like it was made on a $10,000 budget. But that should be no excuse, at least in my opinion, to not tell an interesting story with the elements you have at play here. Looking back on the film, there were some fairly intriguing ideas here, but the execution made this a very boring and substandard movie. There's this virus that has decimated the planet and these 8 survivors take off in a 747, hoping to head to Greenland, where it is rumored that a cure is being developed. This all sounds familiar, hell it sounds like an on-the-air version of Train to Busan, an excellent horror thriller from South Korea. There's a few differences, though, Busan deals with a zombie epidemic. This movie has none of that, the only thing that the virus does is cause tumors to grow on the infected's body or face. You can get infected just by coming into contact with anyone who's afflicted. The fact that the virus isn't deadly is a problem, because it creates a scenario of 'why are these people trying to escape'. I completely understand people trying to leave situations where, if they get infected, they die within seconds. But, with this virus, you don't actually die, you don't turn into a mindless husk who needs to consume the flesh of the living. I'm not saying that this people should WANT to stay where they are, if there's a chance they could be infected, but it's not that difficult to avoid, just stay out of contact with those who have the disease and you'll be fine. So we're starting off with an exaggerated concept that's a little difficult to buy into. And we're also starting off being thrown in the middle of things. Characters have already been established without your knowledge and you're supposed to figure things out right quick. The movie isn't difficult to follow, of course, so you'll be caught up immediately. But it's just shoddy writing to throw you right into the middle of things with no set-up. But there's some good ideas in the movie. We find out that one of the survivors actually has the virus and this is meant to create tension between the survivors. Tension that's not there, but tension nonetheless. There's this character Eric, who's the big asshole on the plane, who keeps actively trying to sabotage the flight, since he wants to avoid spreading the virus to other countries when the plane inevitably lands. I thought that dynamic worked well enough, but you can also see the other survivors' point of view in trying to reach Greenland. That might be one of the only things I liked about this movie. The problem comes in when the movie tries to focus more on the interpersonal relations between the people on the plane. The virus almost becomes secondary to that. And, I'll be honest, I didn't think the characters had that much in the way of depth. Not that I was expecting much out of this, but the characters are just talking heads. Some of the actors are good, like the actress who played Maria. Actually, while there were no Oscar winners here, the acting is fairly decent. I'll say this, it's never as bad as one might reasonably expect given the low budget. The worst actor of the bunch, Larry, had some really fucking bad scenes. Like there's a scene where something falls on his arm, half of which had to be cut off since he had the virus, and he lets out the most fake and forced scream in existence. It was really fucking awful. But, at the very least, they had enough intelligence to keep the character of Larry away for most of the movie. He only appeared when it was absolutely necessary. I digress, the interpersonal issues, and not the threat of the virus, is front and center here and this is where the movie fails. They don't make the characters interesting enough or the situation desperate enough to truly buy into what happens to the people on this plane. The film attempts to make some grand statement about how the real 'villains' are people (or in this case, just one person) and not those who are infected and it's so inept that it can't even do that right. It's inept because that 'twist' in that character comes out of nowhere. Maybe it's not even that it comes out of nowhere, it's just that it feels so forced. Like they had to have some sort of message or moral and they just shoved one in there, no matter how contrived it was. Really, in spite of some interesting ideas and some decent enough acting, I just thought that this was a bad movie. What little I liked wasn't enough to overcome the fact that the film is just dead on arrival, without anything in the way of tension or suspense. Some might see something of value here, but I just didn't like this movie at all. It could have been worse, but there's enough here that it SHOULD have been, at least, a decent movie. Poor execution ruined that. I wouldn't recommend this, but you may find something you like here. Who knows?
(jp) wrote: It is been a long held tradition in the hallway genre to take something that is currently frightening to the population and amplify it to the extreme. At one time electricity was considered terrifying public exhibitions electrocuting animals to horror stories of it being used to reanimate the dead. During the space race of the 50s the main themes shifted to alien from outer space flying across the cosmos to destroy our little planet. Atomic energy was also in about this time but now the most hallway scenarios are usually centered around the manipulation of DNA, the reprogramming of all life on the planet. In the past a play could annihilate a major portion of the population that was centuries before travel course land and sea were so incredibly easy. Now with air travel and infected person in Europe and easily inspect the population of the United States or Asia before the sun sets on the day. The latest movie to try to make disease into the unbeatable villain is 'The Carrier'. This is a prologue to this consideration of the film it must be said that despite the fact that there are many technical forms with production and ultimately does not hold together as well as should have it does contain several of the mandatory items on the checklist of horror movies. There's a spark of creativity here in a bit of a twist in perspective which makes it even more of the same that the film cannot reach his potential. It could remember some of those movies of the 50s for the monsters had costumes that had visible sippers and rips down the seams you might be better able to appreciate a movie that is not up to the contemporary standards of special effects. You have an open mind and are able to appreciate the flicks of gold in a pan full of sand that you may consider giving this film a chance.As the movie opens the world is already in turmoil a mother is desperately trying to get her daughter onto one of the last passenger jets leaving the infected area. Before getting into the location people being inspected any signs of the disease that has ravaged the globe. The mother tries her best to get her daughter on board when she has to lift up shirt to show her back the security agencies that it is full of tumor like growths. The child was denied entrance the same as thousands of others crushing against the entrance. On board the plane was a handful of uninfected. Just to be sure one of the passengers, Eric Mason (Joe Dixon) is a riot control baton in one hand as he forces the passengers to strip to be searched for any signs of disease. One woman initially refuses but was ultimately forced to reveal the tumors on her back. She is forced to go into isolation in a makeshift partition in the back of the plane. The demographic of the fortunate passengers is right out of the Irwin Allen playbook, the young married couple, James (Luke Healy) and Jess Ayres (Rebecca Johnson), the slightly older married couple, Kevin (Rebecca Johnson) and Maria Adams (Rebecca Johnson), single man, James Ayres (Luke Healy(James ) and the mandatory attractive young woman, Terri Holmes (Josie Taylor). Of course there has to be somebody up front a test which was to the pilot Captain Tobias Black (Edmund Kingsley).On the jetliner there is very little time afforded to character development or providing any exposition for the audience. The situation is tense and divisive from the first moment. In many circumstances this would be a definite flaw in construction but once I began pondering on the potential motivations of the director, Anthony Woodley and screenwriter, Luke Healy, the more I came to realize there was a solid rationale behind these decisions. By utilizing the literary technique of in medias res it heightens the audience's confusion putting us on edge and disturb about not knowing what's happening. This reinforces the mood that is prevalent among the characters that especially in such a rapid collapse of the global socio-economic foundation most people would be unaware of the exact nature of the crisis. We cannot find out that the plate that is now collapsing humanity began because a tipping point has been reached drug-resistant bacteria and viruses. A super virus has emerged with an incredibly short incubation. That is 100% legal. Just the slightest touch of an infected person can pass on the plate. This is shown graphically on the plane when James is inadvertently infected and as the tumors begin to grow on his arm he has no resort but to have the limb amputated. Unfortunately there was no anesthesia or a sore on board so the only alternative was a large quantity of tiny bottles of alcohol and a makeshift hammer and chisel. Those who thought that self-deprecation with a pocket knife with gruesome this method comes across as even worse.An effective horror film with the key component is usually isolation, being unable to depend on any source of external help. Airplane 40,000 feet in the air is eminently qualified to meet this prerequisite. The filmmaker does realize that eventually you're going to have to land the jet and there was rare there is a bit of imagination crafted into the plot. The pilot manages to make radio contact with the female pilot of another plane. Their friendly banter is a relief from all the doom and gloom but as hope plane lands first on the tarmac they have designated to refuel a hold of infected people overtake the plane killing everybody on board. The captain has to move on to another location but even when they land there hideously deformed infected are there in force. The landing was not by choice and not immediately need a fuel because someone on board has decided that the plane must crash and not be allowed to land. He is convinced they are a plague ship and for the good of all not allow the infected on board out. Though this is a rather absurd position to hold considering how widespread the infection has already become. As I getting rid of a book of matches all entire building burns. Still it does create some internal tension by having passengers turn upon each other or why trying to divide the plague and the determination of the infected to take over the plane. That's another potential plot hole. Nothing would be gain for infected people are about to die horribly anyhow you want to take a jet plane to anywhere else. We all got to be dead within a day or two anyway. The only information that can be made for this is that it would be difficult to think rationally under such conditions.This is obviously an independent film with a very small budget and a very brief time for principal photography. In some ways this did work in favor of the film by giving it a touch of intimacy that borders on being cinma vrit. At least the infected were not zombies; that is one point in its favor. The audience that would best appreciate this film includes those who are trying to get an understanding of how movies crafted. By discerning what works and what didn't work in this movie your gain a lot of insight just how difficult it is to make even a very simple movie such as this.