A violent terrorist hijacking of a plane is apparently no longer enough of a plot for a feature-length movie. In Blood Red Sky, run-of-the-mill terrorists meet their match at cruising altitude in bloodthirsty vampires.
Though it's never quite clear why the gang of thugs has hijacked the plane (to goose the stock market? sway elections?), a vampire's lust for blood is made extremely patent.
The same might be said of Blood Red Sky's production design -- this is one exceptionally bloody movie. By the time the special forces enter the landed aircraft at the film's end, the entire tube is splattered red and scattered with mutilated bodies. You'll need a strong stomach to make it through the full two hours.
But, perhaps surprisingly given the campy premise (and some genre staples, like the cry, "Does anyone on board know how to fly?!"), the character drama keeps you attentive.
Since we know from the prologue that the plane will in fact land and the little boy will get off in one piece, it's the mother-son bond that provides the suspense. Nadja's love for Elias barely inhibits her from going full vampire, and his dedication to her prompts unexpected bravery.
Peri Baumeister's performance as Nadja is largely physical, while young Carl Anton Koch carries the film's heavy emotional load and Kais Setti offers a compelling turn as Farid, the intelligent observer. The blend of accents and languages on this transatlantic thriller also feels novel for the genre.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.