July 21, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Airborne'

Airborne (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Some horror films are best approached by not taking the content of the film too seriously. For example, if I was watching Martyrs I know that I would not be letting out too many belly laughs. On the other hand, if I was watching something like Piranha, I would just let it fly, get swept up in the absurdity of events and just have a good laugh with it. That’s not a bad thing, far from it as I love both versions of Piranha, it’s just the tone of the movie warrants it. Airborne is that sort of film; the premise is straight-faced but I couldn’t help myself laughing along with the absolute improbability of the film.

It’s late one night at the East Midlands airport, in the UK, and due to an approaching storm only one last flight will make it out. Said flight is set to make a transatlantic trip to the Big Apple, with just a handful of incredibly varied passengers and one mysterious crate in the cargo hold.

Once airborne one of the passengers notices that another passenger has seemingly vanished, not that anyone believes him. On top of this, another passenger makes the observation that the plane is changing course, even though it shouldn’t be. It’s not too long before things go a bit batshit mental; fights break out, bodies pile up and Mark Hamill, as the air traffic controller, is left to try and work out what the hell is going on up there.

Airborne truly is quite preposterous in its execution, but good God it was surprisingly good fun with it. I could, and did whilst I was watching it, pick out plot holes galore during the course of the film. For example, no pilot would take a plane up at midnight, with a storm approaching and only about a dozen passengers onboard. Why are the passengers allowed to wander around the plane when said storm is just around the corner? I could go on, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. This is a schlocky horror flick that keeps the action moving along and doesn’t give you a chance to get too worked up over it.

Hell, Airborne is only 76 minutes long and there aren’t really more than a couple of minutes of filler in the entire duration. Instead we get treated to an eclectic cast that includes Alan Ford, playing a Brick Top style character, along with a couple of heavies. Two squaddies, a nervous Doctor, a horny couple, a heartbroken drunk and an annoying, yet superbly coiffured American. Oh, and Julian Glover is also along for the ride. On the ground we get the aforementioned Mark Hamill, who suitably overacts, and Billy Murray, who turns up late to kick ass.

The rest of the cast, which include Simon Philipps (who is always fun to watch), Craig Conway and Gemma Atkinson, all seem to know exactly what kind of movie they are in, and play up their roles accordingly.

If you want a serious horror flick that will scare you to your very core, you have come to the wrong place my friend. If, however, you just want a fun ride that I can’t imagine is meant to be taken too seriously, then this could well be your thing.

Like I said, I enjoyed it; it made me laugh, had some scenes of quite brutal violence and leaves you with a good kick to the Jacobs. 

Airborne is released on DVD in the UK on July 30th by Chelsea Films.

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