Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Blood Red Sky (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Blood Red Sky (2021)
Genre: Action, Horrror, Thriller
Length: 123 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Rat Pack Filmproduktion, Sirena Film, Netflix
Director: Peter Thorwarth
Writer:  Peter Thorwarth, Stefan Holtz
Actors: Peri Baumeister, Carl Anton Koch, Alexander Scheer, Kais Setti, Gordon Brown, Dominic Purcell, Graham McTavish, Kai Ivo Baulitz, Roland Møller, Chidi Ajufo, Jan Loukota, Nader Ben-Abdallah, Leonie Brill, Rutger Lysen
Blurb from IMDb: A woman with a mysterious illness is forced into action when a group of terrorists attempt to hijack a transatlantic overnight flight.

Selina’s Point of View:
Blood Red Sky does vampires right.
When you see a concept like vampires on a plane, you naturally expect some camp. So, I went into this thinking there’d be some overacting, some humor, a bit of janky CGI. I still had high hopes, though, because I can absolutely go for that kind of thing. Hell, even Train to Busan (2016)– my favorite zombie film – had short bursts of humor and a few ass-kicking scenes that were a bit over-the-top.
My expectations were WAY off.
Do NOT go into this expecting ANY light-hearted content. This was 100% serious. They did not present the blood-suckers as comedic in any way. The only actor that could have been seen as overacting at all, actually came off as psychotically manic.

Some of the visuals were very Nosferatu (1922), others felt more modern. It was the difference between that slick, bat-like face that the original vampires were presented with and the bloody, almost zombie-like appearance that speaks to a more present-day aesthetic. Some of it had to be practical effects, or make-up. It looked too good not to be. Near the end, as things got a bit gorier, the CGI did become a bit noticeable, but not enough to hurt the immersion.
The acting was also top-notch. Everyone embodied their characters – from the antagonists, especially Alexander Scheer (Susi, The Real Court of Shards, Enfant Terrible); to the main protagonists, played by Peri Baumeister (The Last Kingdom, Little Miss Dolittle, Peitruss) and Kais Setti (Oray, The Peppercorns, Dogs of Berlin); to even the child actor, Carl Anton Koch (Das Wichtigste im Leben).
I think the last two vampire films I remember seeing were Boys from County Hell (2021) and Blood Vessel (2020). The former took a very Shaun of the Dead (2004) route, while the latter had some sick visuals – but otherwise put me to sleep. Neither of them compares to this one. This is the best vampire film I’ve seen in a while.

If you’re a fan of horror or vampires, I urge you not to sleep on this one. It feels shorter than it is, and the creatures are done exceptionally well. It has some heavy emotional moments, though, so have some tissues on hand.

Cat’s Point of View:
The credits have rolled for Blood Red Sky and I am no less excited about the movie now that I’ve watched it than when I first saw its trailer during our pre-Top 20 stream. Blood Red Sky hit my list at #14, but might have been higher if there hadn’t been a huge number of awesome choices hitting screens both large and small in July.
I don’t regret my recommendation for a second. In fact, I was very thankful for the distraction tonight to take my mind off of more serious matters that are currently plaguing me with worry.
Honestly, it’s about damn time someone addressed the ‘vampires on a plane’ plot recipe. We’ve had Snakes on a Plane (2006), a heist flick with Money Plane (2020), and even several exploring the zombie genre as well as haunted planes. This, I believe, is the first vampire plane scenario. We’re not going to count Dracula 2000 (2000) since the majority of that film’s plot takes place firmly on the ground.

While some might consider a production such as this on the kitschy side, who cares? I found it enjoyable and I’ll bet many others will also. The thing was – it was a solid and serious film devoid of the camp that other movies with similar concepts utilize.

Blood Red Sky got a lot of bang for its buck with the production decisions on creature design and the plot elements surrounding it. I was drawn into the mother’s plight and found I couldn’t look away for the duration. I didn’t even mind the subtitles. I absolutely adored the direction they went with the aesthetics. These days, it’s a bold move to show the bloodsuckers as anything but sexy and suave. Blood Red Sky definitely leaned more in the Nosferatu (1922) direction.

My only real negative for the film wasn’t even something you can hold against Blood Red Sky. I wanted to see more of Dominic Purcell (The Bag Man, Gridlocked, DC's Legends of Tomorrow) and Graham McTavish (Aquaman, Preacher, Castlevania) simply because I enjoy their work. I have no complaints with their parts or how they executed them – or any other cast member for that matter. I believed the performances. I wish I had tissues on hand for the heavier moments, actually. The majority of the actors involved are just more widely known overseas.
Blood Red Sky is a great movie for a night in alone or with friends, and the fact that it’s a Netflix original makes it easy to catch. If you're a fan of hard-hitting quality vampire horror, you don't want to miss it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 59%
Metascore – 43/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.0/10
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5
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