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John’s Horror Corner: Flight 7500 (2014), Grudge ghost at 30,000 feet.

April 17, 2016

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MY CALL: A well-respected director brought together a sizable ensemble cast rich with horror experience; this should have worked but it crashed and burned. It seemed to have all of the building blocks of success, but once you hit “play” you’ll find no foundation was built. I wanted so badly to like this. My recommendation is that you don’t even watch this out of respect for Shimizu or any of the cast you may like. It’s not worth it. MOVIES LIKE Flight 7500: Altitude (2010) and The Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) both involve horror at high altitudes…and even Altitude (2010) was better than this. To see something to redeem director Takashi Shimizu go for The Grudge (2004, remake or original or sequels) or any other Ju-On movies.

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Note that both of these posters say 2012.
The movie is listed as 2014 on IMDB.
But we all waited until 2016 to be able to see it!
This is never a good sign.

Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles for Tokyo and as the overnight flight makes its course the passengers encounter some sort of evil supernatural force. Given the director, my guess would be a “Grudge ghost.”

Flight 7500

Flight 7500

Definitely an abnormal amount on in-flight Grudge mist.

Our lineup of victims are moderately humanized and somewhat likable, but perhaps mostly because we recognize them from other HBO and horror favorites. There is a couple (Ryan Kwanten; True Blood, Dead Silence, and Amy Smart; Mirrors, Seventh Moon, Strangeland) embarking on a non-refundable couples trip with their friends who do not yet know they’re getting a divorce, a mellow young man (Jerry Ferrara; Entourage, Battleship) and his recently wed bridezilla (Scout Taylor-Compton; Halloween, Wicked Little Things, April Fool’s Day) who is not fond of their goth and fatalistic row-mate (Nicky Whelan; Halloween II), and a flirty scheister seated beside an unimpressed young lady (Christian Serratos; The Walking Dead). Meanwhile the flight attendants (Leslie Bibb; Trick ‘r Treat, The Skulls, and Jamie Chung; Sorority Row, The Man with the Iron Fists) gossip about the passengers and their love lives, one of which is involved with the adulterous pilot (Johnathon Schaech; Quarantine, Prom Night). Essentially, everyone is either lying about something, angry about something, or in denial suppressing something.

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Among the passengers is a man with an old wooden box of which he’s suspiciously protective. I’d be a bit clingy to my carry-on, too, if it had an evil Japanese spirit in it (or so I’m assuming that of the contents). Shortly after takeoff he dies from a most violently protracted seizure. By the end of the movie you will find no link to this completely unnatural seizure and any of the other events that shall transpire.

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Sketchiest looking guy on the plane…

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Inexplicably dramatic death…

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With a dead body on board people are harrowed, some even curious, but most reflecting on their lives having recently faced death. It disappoints me to say that as some strange things start happening on the plane, I found more satisfaction from the development of the characters’ relationships and self-discovery (not that there’s anything special going on) than I did the horror story itself. The formula is simple: 1) someone thinks she sees something, and 2) two passengers find connections when first they saw adversity. The dead body creepily moves, and a troubled couple reflect on their poor decisions. There’s a lot of this interplay between interpersonal moments and failed attempts at scary happenings. Speaking of failed attempts, a woman encounters a ghost emerging from the mist of the tiny airplane bathroom floor while taking a pregnancy test. Needlessly weird!

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I really love Amy Smart and Ryan Kwanten.
It’s such a shame they’re in this movie…for them. SMH
Here they find some clues that really end up not mattering at all.

As the story stumbles into some state of development we learn of evil spirits of Japanese mythology that “won’t let go” and thus do not move on to the afterlife. Apparently that’s what’s happening here. There’s also a weird twitchy “death doll” that doesn’t seem to fit into all this at all. And don’t worry, by the end of the movie you’ll see the doll meant very little.

Flight 7500

The passengers were just asking for trouble.
Dude steals the dead guy’s watch after his suspiciously violent death.

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Then they open the creepy box after picking the lock! It was LOCKED!
Why not just read from a book inked in blood and bound in human flesh!?!?!?!

The special effects are minimal, not in a “minimalist” way but in a really disappointing way. Some CGI mist, spectral reflections, and reaching hands. That’s it. Our victims deaths go something like this…they hear something, a door or lid or suitcase opens, an out-of-focus figure or a hand emerges, the victim screams or whimpers, aaaaand cut scene.

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She investigates when she hears something…

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Something is opened (a suitcase this time)…

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Once again – She investigates when she hears something…

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Ovrehead storage opens on its own…

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Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

We see no monster or ghost nor do we see an attack or a gruesome outcome–not even a horrific body. Of whatever budget there was to hire the cast and create a huge variety of poster art (of the course of 3-4 years of release delays), it seems that hardly a dollar was spared to bring our monster to the screen. As such, I now see why it took years to finally get this movie released.

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Here the cast looks as bewildered as I was while watching this.
Why did that guy with the box die?
Why was the box locked?
Why did the doll matter?
Why did the box matter?
Where’s the damned ghost?
Why did we have to wait 4 years to see this???

I don’t know what went wrong. The well-respected director Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge 1-2, Ju-On 1-2) and writer Craig Rosenberg (The Uninvited, The Quiet Ones) brought together a sizable ensemble cast rich with horror experience. This should have worked. It seemed to have all of the building blocks of success, but once you hit “play” you’ll find no foundation was built.

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Evidently all the posters were meant to distract us.

Very sad. I wanted so badly to like this–especially since I’ve been waiting for YEARS to see ths. My recommendation is that you don’t even watch this out of respect for Shimizu or any of the cast you may like. It’s not worth it. Not even a little.

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Here’s one for a 2013 release. 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Victor De Leon permalink
    April 19, 2016 8:56 am

    Looks like it had potential especially with that cast and that director. I think I’ll pass on this one. Thanks for the head’s up, John. Good write up, man.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 19, 2016 9:00 am

      Yeah. Such a shame. A lot of wasted potential.

      • Victor De Leon permalink
        April 19, 2016 9:03 am

        Yeah, I bet, and that release screw up is never a good sign, like you said.

      • John Leavengood permalink
        April 19, 2016 9:17 am

        Usually. But The Cabin in the Woods was delayed for two years. Having seen and LOVED it, I can’t imagine why.

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix

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