Hooptober 8.0 – Blood Red Sky (2021)

Being Film #3 for Hooptober 2021

Somewhere there’s a version of Blood Red Sky where Samuel L. Jackson is screaming “GET THESE MUTHAF-CKIN’ VAMPIRES OFF MY MUTHAF-CKIN’ PLANE!” and that is a movie I want to see. Instead what we have here is a German action/horror hybrid with a great premise that becomes a slog by the end of its 2-hour runtime. Sure you get a few cool moments, but I don’t want to have to sit through almost 130 minutes to get to them.

THE QUICK SUMMARY: Nadja and her son Elias are traveling from Germany to New York on Transatlantic 473. Nadja is very sick, and there are doctors waiting for her in New York eager to work to see if they can help her. Only problem? The plane is hijacked by a motley crew of idiots with no discernible purposes (there’s something about money but it’s never made clear). Things get out of control and in order to protect her son Nadja has to embrace her particular sickness. Pretty soon the terrorists (thieves? who knows) get a lot more than they bargained for when bodies start dropping and chaos erupts. This goes on for over two hours. In that regard it truly feels like a transatlantic flight.

There’s definitely some good to be had here: the concept is top-notch, and the vampire effects are really strong. As Nadja becomes more and more feral you see her humanity wither away. The action could be a little clearer, but it works to a degree. What doesn’t work nearly as well are the shoehorned in flashbacks and the runtime, which could have been trimmed to really make the plot more kinetic. There’s a lot to get through for a hijacking that has no purpose – just give us all the cool little ideas (in one instance the main villain steals some of Nadja’s blood, setting up some fun chaos later) and pack them in tight so we feel the tension and the thrill of the plot.

Sadly, it never really comes together, and the ending showdown with the military and a physicist set up to look like one of the terrorists gets washed in favor of a quick explosion and a downbeat ending. Which is a shame, because of the cast Kais Setti as Farid the physicist was fun to watch. I think overall Blood Red Sky manages to while away a few hours, but sadly does little to be frightening, cool, or even very good beyond a “competent, now what’s on next?” kind of vibe.

Your mileage may vary, but this feels like the very definition of a 2 1/2 star movie. Average in every way.

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