The premise of Netflix’s ‘Blood Red Sky’ sounds very interesting on paper. A German horror film about a woman with “a mysterious illness” who is forced to act when a group of terrorists tries to hijack a night transatlantic flight. To protect his son he will have to reveal a dark secret, and unleash his inner monster, which has been a vampire. Promises an odyssey during a night trip full of blood and action.
However, Peter Thorwarth, director of the famous ‘The Wave’ (The Wave, 2008), does not quite get the most out of the proposal and seems to be dodging some key points so that a work with a limited concept manages to create the necessary traction to reach to the goal without staggering. The idea is a kind of hybrid between ‘Passenger 57’ (Passenger 57, 1992) and the end of ’30 days of darkness’ (30 Days of Night, 2007), an action thriller in the sky to which we have added a touch of fantasy and horror, without necessarily pulling the humor of ‘Serpents on the plane’ (2007).
Neither action nor (sufficient) hemoglobin
Its duration of two hours already works against from the first moment. Even without taking too long to reveal your first letter, the number of minutes ahead on a stowaway trip against terrorists is not supported by a script with sufficient suspense mechanisms and an elaborate claustrophobic situation. ‘Dark Red Sky’ lacks tension and the steering feels too flat to keep things exciting for so long.
With some ideas in common with ‘Non-Stop’ (2014), one cannot help but think about what this film would be like in the hands of Jaume Collet-Serra, a director with as much talent for horror as for action in limited spaces. The movement and visual virtuosity of films like ‘El pasajero’ (The Commuter, 2018) here become a tasteless television staging, which makes little effort to try to adorn the idea that we are watching a vampire film .
Although the plot is well carried out – there is no walk that will get us out of the story and it never makes a fool of ourselves – there is nothing especially surprising or vibrant about ‘Blood Red Sky’, displaying an undesirable coldness in a thriller of flights in danger and terror. Nor is there an important dramatic weight in a serious approach, which also does not serve to turn the idea around as a survival film, where the relationship between Nadja and Elias recalls the bond between Martin Freeman and his little daughter in ‘Cargo’ (2018 ).
Too long a trip without catering
Like ‘Maggie’ and other recent films, the element of horror threatens family relationships by articulating traits of affection as primary physical reactions, but in this case it also fails to move or create a moral challenge like that of the mother in ‘The Strain’ ( 2014), whose pilot episode also combined vampires and airplanes imitating the arrival of the Demeter in Whitby with a desolate Boeing. Perhaps the best that can be said is that vampires here are like the ones in ’30 days of darkness’.
A design of animal beasts that attack with cruelty and without worrying about the bloody jets that invite us to think about a more effective work on the genre level, but that does not come to culminate or improve what was seen in ‘A hallucinatory gang’ (Monster Squad, 1987), when Dracula was transported in a plane with lethal results, or ‘The night passenger’ (The Night Flyer, 1997), the adaptation of the story of Stephen King’s bloodsucker that moves in plane.
‘Dark red sky’ is a transatlantic horror that combines action and drama but lacks real emotion. Despite its correction, it knows little, more in a summer in which the trilogy ‘La calle del terror’ (Fear Street, 2021) has set the bar very high on Netflix. It does not help that its visual aesthetics are too reminiscent of German productions for weekend afternoons, in the worst sense, and there is no fast-paced development of the ‘Critical Decision’ (Executive Decision, 1996), but like so many Mediocre originals from the platform can be used to fill downtime.