Sunday, November 19, 2023

Row 19, Planes, Witches, and Crashes

I love films from Russia.  In Russia, stewardesses are still dolls!  Non-unionized, the lovelies strut down the aisle. In America they waddle down the aisle. More importantly, we have a neat horror film set on a commercial airline in Russia.  Airplane horror is so good because what happens in these movies is a fear we all have before stepping onto one.  Depressurization, crashing, fire, engine failure, running out of coffee give us all nightmares when we anticipate our next flight.  Fortunately in a Russian made film we won't have to worry about stewardesses who are big-boned and retaining water.  Today we look at "Row 19," directed by Alexander Babaev. 

First off, kudos to two babe actresses, Anna Glaube and Victoria Korlyakova.  They portray our babe stewardesses.  Though their fates might be difficult to watch, they are babes and dress very smartly in their stewardess uniforms. Okay, back to the horror. 20 years ago, as a seven year old, Katerina (Svetlana Ivanova) is the lone survivor of an airplane crash.  Even her mom dies. Now two decades later, Katerina has grown up and become a psychologist helping her patients cope with fear.  Uh oh...Katerina has not really mastered controlling hers...but will get practice real soon.  See, she books a flight to go visit her grandfather and will take along her seven year old daughter, Diana (Marta Kessler).  See where we are going.

On a snowy night the plane takes off.  Katerina meets handsome Alexey (Wolfgang Cerny). He's a hunk with his own issues.  A former war correspondent, this hunk is also suppressing fear.  Even weirder is an artist (Alexander Gross) who keeps sketching the other passengers. A cranky man who keeps drinking and an elderly couple are the only others on board.  The two babe stewardesses are acting strange and seem to be guarding a secret.  Death and destruction arrive.  Fire! Decompression! Death! Turbulence!  Even worse, as a little girl Katerina saw a witch on the ill-fated flight.  Now, that same witch seems to be onboard the plane.  What happens next will get into spoilers but much of it will be difficult to watch.

Will Katerina endure another airplane crash?  What is with this witch, is she there to reclaim Katerina, "Final Destination" style?  Will our stewardesses remain sultry even after all the horror?  If you liked "Flight 7500," this film has similar vibes.  For a good supernatural shocker, see "Row 19," and fear one in this film will run out of coffee.


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