Blood Red Sky (2021)

Blood Red Sky
Director: Peter Thorwarth
Writer: Peter Thorwarth, Stefan Holtz
Cast: Peri Baumeister, Carl Anton Koch, Alexander Scheer, Kais Setti, Gordon Brown, Dominic Purcell, Graham McTavish
Seen on: 5.8.2022

Content Note: (critical treatmen of) racism against muslims

Elias (Carl Anton Koch) and his mother Nadja (Peri Baumeister) are flying to the USA. Nadja is sick, and a doctor there has promised to be able to heal her. Everything seems to be going well until their plan is hijacked. As things turn more and more tense and outright bloody on board and Muslim passengers like Farid (Kais Setti) get singled out by the hijackers for some reason, Elias tries to hide. As the hijackers turn their attention to him and Nadja, it becomes apparent that there is more to Nadja’s illness than appeared at first.

My expectations for Blood Red Sky weren’t particularly high, but they were disappointed anyway as it is a vampire movie that is just no fun, despite the nice idea.

The film poster showing Nadja (Peri Baumeister) holding Elias (Carl Anton Koch) in an airplane seat. Her reflection in the plane window shows a creature with a bloody mouth.

I’m a sucker (haha) for vampire movies, so of course I wanted to see Blood Red Sky, although the film likes to pretend for the longest time that the audience doesn’t know what its biggest selling point is, namely that it is a vampire movie. This seems indicative of a film that is built on a tight concept – a vampire on a plane defending her son against terrorists – and is anything but tight, instead losing itself in frankly pretty boring action scenes.

It’s also pretty telling that the character I was most interested in is Farid, and not Nadja and/or Elias, although we spend most of the time with Elias and his point of view, and the two of them are obviously meant to be the heart of the film. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t realize what an obvious treasure it has in Farid (and in Setti’s performance), so it ignores him for most of the film. When it does try to give him more emotional weight at the end of the film, it falls a bit flat, too.

A flight attendant holding a sobbing Elias (Carl Anton Koch) back. Around them, the plan is splattered with blood.

Like most of the film just falls flat. The pacing is off, moving too slow to build tension and making the film generally feel longer than it is. The self-hating vampire trope that the movie leans on quite heavily feels unfitting when it’s just that vampirism that makes it possible for Nadja to protect her son. And the plot generally doesn’t make much sense – from the hijacker’s goal to the army’s behavior at the end, it just didn’t add up for me.

I wish I could have been more excited about a vampire mom wreaking havoc on an airplane. But Blood Red Sky sucks (haha) pretty much all the fun out of this concept that would have deserved a bit more cheesiness.

Nadja (Peri Baumeister) leaning over a guy lying dead on the floor. Her face is subtly changed, her face and his neck are bloody.

Summarizing: pretty boring.

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