Red Eye (2017)

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I’m way behind getting this review done, but here it is all the same. Day two at the Midwest Horror Fest was a lot of fun. One thing that I like about this festival is that they worked in some breaks for food/drinks and bathroom. This is something that I wish other festivals would do. Most try to cram in as many films as possible that it makes it hard to find a place to go find something to drink, get something to eat, or use the bathroom for someone like me who tries to watch as many movies as possible. Or maybe it is just my problem. Midwest Horror fest also tried to mix things up a bit. They had a costume contest and a few dancers at one point as well. It was different, to say the least. I wrote up an email about the 3-day pass thing and could have gotten in for free Sunday. After seeing what I needed to do for the day, I decided to skip going to the festival. I hated to, but that is life I suppose. One thing I am hoping for next year for this festival is more full-length films. Out of the 15 hours I was there over two days, there were only four full-length films. One was just barely over an hour with credits. They screened 47 films in all, with the vast majority being short films. Hopefully, there will be more full-length films next time around. I am going to skip reviewing Bloodsucka Jones vs. The Creeping Death because I can’t find all that much information on it and I didn’t think all that highly of it anyway. Instead, I will skip to Red Eye, which was a much better film and it was an actual horror movie.

Gage (Scott King) has learned that there is some truth about the local legend of Red Eye. Gage feels that this will make the perfect subject matter for his first film project. He gathers some friends, Ryann (Heather Dorff), Rykyr (Destinie Orndoff), and Jake (Hayden Wilberger), to head into the woods of West Virginia. They discover that Red Eye (Clayton Abbott) is real, but he isn’t happy to be discovered.

Red Eye was co-written by Destinie Orndoff and Tristan Clay, who also directed. Both were in attendance and did a Q&A after the screening. I wasn’t sure how well I would like Red Eye once I figured out the basic plot of the film. There have plenty of films where a film crew gets into trouble after all. I ended up being very surprised though. Something that stood out in this movie was the character development. We learn a good bit about each character in this film for our four main characters. I was a little confused about the relationships between each character though. I was never sure if Ryann and Jake were an actual couple, for example. They seemed to be but Jake isn’t all that nice to Ryann at times and we see him trying to make a move on Rykyr at one point. This was really the only thing about the movie that I didn’t care for. Then again, it was a bit hard to hear what was being said at times, so I might have missed some things. It wasn’t the film’s fault that it was hard to hear, just the way the acoustics in the theater were at times. The place is an actual theater, not something that was made with movies in mind.

Red Eye is a slow building film as we get to know the characters, but once the killer does show up, be ready for a brutal film. Once Red Eye shows up, I was completely hooked on the story and just how brutal a killer this guy is. The violence isn’t always shown, but you still get a very good idea of what is going on. There is also a twist to be found that surprised me. During the Q&A, the filmmakers asked if anyone had guessed the twist and I didn’t see a hand go up. I’m sure there were clues though, so that is a good reason for me to want to watch this film again. Well...that and just how good Red Eye turned out.

The effects are very well done. There is some gory and bloody stuff here, but I was a bit disappointed when they would shy away from there. Specifically when one character gets their arms cut up. It was easy to see what was going on, but it was from behind the character that was getting their arms cut up, so we couldn’t actually see that happening. I know this is a low budget film which does have limits, but I was still disappointed. Even so, there are still some good effects to be found here. The acting was also very well done. Destinie Orndoff ended up winning the Scream Queen award for her acting. Nothing against her, as I do think she did a great job, but I did like Heather Dorff a tad better. The two guys also do a great job as well. Clayton Abbott never gets to say much, if anything at all, but I still thought he made a great killer.

The twist really helps the story, I thought anyway. I had a feeling that there was going to be a twist, but I guessed wrong as to what it would be. It extends the movie a little bit and also just reinforces how brutal the story actually is. For me, there wasn’t all that much to complain about with Red Eye. I’m looking forward to watching it again to see if the problems I do have manage to clear up for me on a second watch and to see if it holds up as well as it did on the first viewing. I don’t know when Red Eye will be out there for all of you, but I do hope it will be soon. One to keep a red-eye out for!

4 out of 5 Yet another reason I will not go out in the woods

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

One Comment:

  • Vale: Sounds like a good movie if it has a twist that no one suspected :) Where can I see it?

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