review by Bobby Blakey
I love films that keep to smaller locations to tell stories. In a thriller or horror they have so much potential to build tension and a claustrophobia like environment for a more powerful film. The latest Horizon Line starring Allison Williams, Alexander Dreymon, and Keith David looks to be that kind of film. Could this film offer up the intensity it promises or will fail keep its altitude?
Horizon Line follows two former lovers, Sara and Jackson who discover new altitudes of fear aboard a single-engine Cessna plane. It was supposed to be a routine and casual 99-minute flight to their friend’s tropical island wedding. But within minutes after takeoff, their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving Sara and Jackson with no idea where they are, no comms, and no clue how to land the plane. With nothing but miles of ocean and sky in every direction, and a terrifying storm that’s about to envelop them, Sara and Jackson have only one shot – and there’s no going back.
I kept my expectations low here because while I was interested in this premise there were just too many ways it could go horribly wrong. I was surprised that it worked way better than I had expected, but it also struggles and loses steam before it’s all said and done. The build up to the film is klunky as it is trying to introduce the characters, but it felt like they were spending way more time than needed here that would have been better served to add new levels of the intensity to the second half.
Once they get into the sky is where the tension really takes off nd throughout most of this time the film hits its mark. Sure there are some over the top elements that some might struggle to buy into, but it’s also a movie so you have to just go along with the ride. I really dig that it keeps the majority of the film right into the cockpit of the plane and some unique things for survival. As outlandish as some of it might be, there have also been people that have done some of these things in air shows and stunts, of course with safety equipment, but means it is possible even if unlikely.
The ending was a bit abrupt and even teased another element I was hoping we were going to get to deal with, but alas it used it as more of a tease before wrapping things up. The film is better than it probably should be, but does flounder a bit throughout. In the end I enjoyed it for what it is and give it credit for trying something different that does work more than it doesn’t.
Decide for yourself and check out Horizon Line available now on Blu-ray and DVD from STXfilms.