Directed by: Dominic Burns
Written by: Paul Chronnell
Starring: Alan Ford, Billy Murray, Craig Conway, Dominic Burns, Gemma Atkinson, Julian Glover, Kimberly Jaraj, Mark Hamill, Peter Barrett, Sebastian Street
(15) Running time: 85 minutes
Director: Dominic Burns
Writer: Paul Chronnell
Starring: Mark Hamill, Gemma Atkinson, Craig Conway,Sebastian Street, Alan Ford, Dominic Burns
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
I always get excited when a new British horror comes along, and to be fair we do give the world our fair share of classic, genre defining horror. When we are good, we can be untouchable, however when we are bad, things are rather unpleasant. Airborne is very close to being one of those ultra bad horrors, but somehow saves itself (just, I might add) by being rather intriguing.
A plane takes off during a violent storm, it is the last one allowed to take off and it might very well the last ever plane journey for the passengers and crew. The passengers are made up of a few army guys, a man who never stops talking, a man desperate to get away from the man talking, a couple desperate to join the mile high club, a weird Doctor and some gangsters who like to swear a lot. The cabin crew are no better, with Gemma Atkinson taking charge of a situation on the plane which is spiralling out of control. The actual situation is very hard to explain…
It seemed to me that once two passengers disappeared and no one was getting any answers, everyone began to panic and tensions begin to develop between the passengers and eventually the cabin crew. A call has been made to flight control about the pilots being dead, and in runs Luke Skywalker, sorry Mark Hamill, to organise flight control and get the plane down safely. The passengers all become very hostile, with theLondongangsters sat quiet, biding their time and clearly waiting for their boss Alan Ford to give the order to take charge. It is hilarious watching them trying to ignore all the shouting and arguments, and when they finally do use their muscle it is a bit, well, shite really. It is not really clear what has everyone upset, and for a good fifty minutes insults are thrown, arguments over nothing and passengers demanding answers from a strange behaving cabin crew take place. The film doesn’t really go anywhere, with the cast using foul language to emphasise the dangerous situation rather than actually acting. The word “fuck” is over-used and turns up in the strangest of places to try and add some level of threat.
The script it often lazy, and the actors appear to struggle to deliver their lines with any real conviction. There is a good level of mystery to the plot though, and once the reveal of just what is going on happens, the idea (if I have guessed right) is actually quite a cool one, however the good stuff comes far too late and the film painfully drags with too much waffle to really become exciting. It was the need to know what was going on rather than the enjoyment of watching which kept me interested, and oddly it would have been nice if the final quarter was stretched a bit longer as it did become quite decent come the end. For a horror there were a couple of decent scenes: most notably an unsettling scene where a passenger literally goes mad and smashes his head on a glass table. However, Airborne suffers from a painfully poor script, some bad editing, the timing is all over the place and it is not really very scary. It benefits from a neat set up, a good level of mystery and a satisfying finish, so this manages to sit comfortably in the average category for British horror. It won’t win any awards, but will satisfy those with a little more patience than others for slow building, intriguing horror.