Blood Red Sky is a blisteringly good vampire movie that plays and subverts the genre, whilst delivering a full-on action movie brimming with character and heart. Nadja – a woman with a mysterious illness, played by a superb Peri Baumeister – boards a flight to New York with her son from Germany. She wears a wig to hide her baldness, injects fluid straight into her heart and seems rather allergic to bright light, while her son Elias (Carl Anton Koch) is a delight, dutiful and caring for his Mum.
Unfortunately, the flight that they are on is about to be hijacked by a group of terrorists hellbent on blowing up the plane. The terrorists have commercial motives, wanting to crash the plane and destabilise the stock market, and they are ruthless, especially Alexander Scheer’s psychotic Eightball. What they hadn’t reckoned on was Nadja and her fierce matriarchal love and the fact that, well, she’s a vampire, slowly losing her humanity and hoping for a miracle cure in New York.
What unfolds is Die Hard on a plane with vampires. It’s masterfully suspenseful, claustrophobic and full of horror grace notes, as well as being a disaster film. The timeline of the film hops around between the plane landing in Scotland in daylight, flashbacks to Nadja’s ‘turning’ and the events on the aircraft itself. Baumeister does a superb job of showing her gradual descent into vampirism, her teeth growing, her mannerisms more animalistic as she battles the evil within her, kept in check by her son. Kais Setti provides warm support as the passenger who helps them out and tries to avert catastrophe.
The baddies are fleshed out and given personalities, as are some of the passengers on the plane – making a textured, thought-through action horror with, ahem, stakes. Bloody, brilliant and with characters you can root for, this is a fabulous shot of adrenaline. Fangtastic.
Dir: Peter Thorwath (18, 121 mins)
Streaming on Netflix now
words KEIRON SELF
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