Stephen King, a household name for many, and a guarantee for horror.
Unfortunately, over the years, it’s also become a guarantee for low budget movies on tv. With all his big properties being sold to big companies (Carrie, It, Shawshank Redemption, The Shining), the smaller stories tend to get bought up by smaller companies who are looking to attach his name to their production.
The Night Flier, which was released briefly in theaters, is one of those lesser known stories of Stephen, but carries all the same elements that have garnered him so much praise over the last 25 years.
The story itself, as is briefly touched upon in the opening of this review, is as basic as it gets. A reporter called Robert Dees, played by Miguel Ferrer, is sent out to investigate reports of a mysterious night flier that’s killing people on airports.
The catch in this? All his murders have a vampiric taste to them.
Basically, what you see is what you get, we find out early on (the first 5 minutes) that we are dealing with a vampire, and what follows is Robert’s journey towards finding him. Like I said earlier, it carries lots of the ingredients other King adaptations have as well. We get the ominous mood from the Maryland area, we never do see exactly what the Night Flier is, and a good 45 minutes into it, you’ll probably surprise yourself in how much you’re enyoing the proceedings.
Now, before moving on, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows with ‘The Night Flier’.
Miguel Ferrer plays Robert Dees brilliantly, as a highly sceptic and narcissistic character, which quite frankly you want to see killed. The supporting cast isn’t that great though, a minor subplot involving one of Robert’s female colleagues who’s investigating the same case is easily the worst part of the movie. And there are other small hints that this movie isn’t exactly the most highly budgetted one.
That fact doesn’t always play a factor in a movie’s ultimate quality, but you do get a few instances where you could easily fantasize about what they could have done if they didn’t have to work with their shoestring 1 million dollar budget.
The acting in general, aside from Ferrer, feels forced at times and the story, being as thin as it is, even manages to stretch out for a bit too long over the course of the 93 minutes.
In general, once the movie reaches it’s gory conclusion, you are most probably left feeling satisfied.
The tension build up is great, and the ultimate reveal of the night flier, as well as the final scenes as a whole, are commendable.
If this was an episode on the twilight zone it would have been great, as a full length feature movie, it lands (see what I did there?) on the right side of a 5.