A simple yet outrageous premise can go a long way when it comes to drawing audiences into the theater. The Shallows gave a bikini-clad Blake Lively stuck on a rock while being stalked by a shark for 90 minutes. 47 Meters Down kept Mandy Moore in a cage with danger ensuing if she dared to leave it. Now, we have HORIZON LINE with the crazy talented Allison Williams in one hell of a bizarre scenario that I admit drew me in, but I must warn others not to take this flight.
Williams plays Sara, a career-driven free spirit who is commitment-phobic. On an island vacation, she bumps into a former one-night stand, Jackson (Alexander Dreymon) and they reunite for another night of intimacy. She attempts the hit and run the morning after, but ends up on the same small aircraft flight as him, heading to a mutual friend’s wedding. Their pilot, Freddy (Keith David), dies shortly after takeoff from a heart attack, but luckily had previously taught Sara some beginner lessons on flying planes. What ensues is a laughably insane adventure of these two trying to keep the plane in the air long enough to find help.
The most surprising aspect of HORIZON LINE is that it is written by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken, the same writing team behind 10 Cloverfield Lane. That one gave us the underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a possible doomsday scenario in one of the best science fiction offerings in a long time. Here, Williams is turned into one of the most irritating leads once that plane lands in her hands. The scenes set on land prior to Freddy’s death show her as confident and rather someone to root for. Sara has history and instead of delving into a possible character study during a traumatizing event, she becomes reduced as clumsy with the worst survival skills. I imagine if HORIZON LINE made it to theaters that audience members would be pointing at the screen, yelling, “Why would you do that?!”
While the action sequences are actually beautifully shot and the special effects are surprisingly believable, the script is what takes you out of the movie. Some of the solutions to various issues Sara and Jackson come across left me scratching my head. I’m not a pilot by any means, but a lot of the movie came off as cartoonish and illogical. Williams seems to notice what kind of movie she’s working with as she turns the “OMG” reactions to a ten. She’s previously starred in Jordan Peele’s Get Out and the Netflix hit, The Perfection, to impressive results, but is probably grateful that HORIZON LINE is flying under the radar much like her plane in the movie. Dreymon isn’t given too much to work with except to help create the drama for Sara so the stakes don’t exactly feel that high if he were to die.
The Blu-ray release helps the color schemes pop as the tropical vibes are utilized, but it works in creating a pretty-looking movie. As mentioned before, the special effects are impressive so a featurette would’ve been nice on how some scenes were shot. However, instead, we are treated to a handful of deleted scenes that are mostly forgettable with the exception of a laugh-out-loud fire-on-deck sequence that probably wasn’t meant to be funny.
HORIZON LINE promises an exciting flight, but it falls short on delivering on that promise. The Blu-ray and DVD are now available for purchase.