New to Netflix this weekend is the German action horror movie, Blood Red Sky. The film – directed by Peter Thorwarth – stars Peri Baumeister, Carl Anton Koch, and Dominic Purcell, and tells the story of a vampire who takes on terrorists, whilst aboard a commercial flight from Germany to the US.
In the movie, Nadja and her son, Elias, are travelling to the US in order to make an important medical appointment. Nadja has a health condition which requires urgent attention, and is due to undergo surgery upon arrival.
The pair board the plane and are confident they will encounter no major problems on their journey, but shortly into the flight, the aircraft is hijacked by a group of terrorists. Some of the terrorists attack the passengers, and Nadja is shot twice in the chest and left for dead.
But Nadja is not dead, and instead makes her way to the cargo hold, where she drinks the blood of a dog, followed by the blood of one of the terrorists. The condition Nadja requires treatment for is vampirism and although she had previously supressed her desire to feed, she now has a taste for blood.
Can she control her bloodlust long enough to ensure the safety of her son, or will she go berserk on the plane? And more importantly, what will happen to the terrorists if they are bitten?
Blood Red Sky landed on Netflix this morning and is yet another entry in the streaming service’s ever-expanding portfolio of world cinema titles. However, while this is a German language movie, I should point out that it is somewhat of a German/English hybrid.
Half of the dialogue in Blood Red Sky is spoken in German, while the other half is spoken in English. A dubbed version of the movie is available on Netflix, but I recommend you watch the subtitled edition which contains 50% English anyway.
As for the type of movie this is, Blood Red Sky is in essence a horror version of Passenger 57 (1992) or Turbulence (1997). It takes the terrorism/hijacked plane angles of those films, chucks in some vampire designs that have a whiff of Blade II (2002) about them, and mixes it all around to create what is essentially, Vamps on a Plane.
Some of the material is generic, including the one-note personalities of the bad guys (the gruff leader, the psychopath, etc), but for the most part what’s on offer works quite well. If you can look past the fairly meagre plot, this is an action-packed fright-flight, with blood, fangs, and a strong turn from lead actress Peri Baumeister.
Visually everything hits its mark, with the vampire effects all delivering the goods. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but by this point in time, it’s difficult to bring anything new to the vampire subgenre that hasn’t been done a thousand times before.
The point is, does it work or does it fall flat? For my money, it works and that’s what matters.
The entire movie operates on a level that is confident in what it is doing. It doesn’t necessarily open any new doors, or push any envelopes, but it never loses focus and this means it never becomes boring.
Where this film shows real signs of promise is in brief flashback sequences which are dotted throughout the narrative. These mini-interludes offer a little backstory for Nadja, and explain how she became a vampire and how she has wrestled with the evil that’s inside of her.
These flashbacks are few and far between, but they are beautifully shot, and add some depth to the story. One flashback in particular is quite creepy, while collectively they offer hints at a much wider world that I would like to see more of.
I’m not sure I will get to see any more of this back story, as Blood Red Sky is presented as a standalone picture, but if there are further entries, I hope this is where the focus lies. I would certainly watch another movie in this series, if this became an option.
Blood Red Sky is a perfectly good action horror. It is a low budget affair, and one which works largely because of the relationship between Nadja and her son, but when all is said and done it leaves you feeling satisfied.
This is a Saturday night kind of movie, that would work best alongside a curry and a couple of beers. It may not stay in the memory forever, but it offers a comfortable ride regardless.