The film concerns a typically strong-willed Craven female protagonist. Heather Langenkamp, Neve Campbell, Maren Jensen, Linda Blair, Loryn Locklin, Susan Lanier, Angela Bassett and Christina Ricci have all played different riffs of this victim/hero archetype. Craven has had varying degrees of success with it, but it is a model that he typically excels at. In a quite troubling move, he betrays that ideal with Red Eye's denouement. His powerful female character fights and toils through every predicament thrown her way, then, in a fit of maddeningly inept plotting, must be saved by her Daddy.
This kind of artistic betrayal is extraordinarily frustrating coming from a filmmaker who, although often not always a level-A player, is usually aesthetically at the top of his game. Once Red Eye leaves the confines of the plane cabin and attempts to open up into a more standard thriller, it loses steam...and intrigue...a shame since for nearly an hour I was convinced I was seeing one of the best films of the year.
An utter letdown.