I see dead people… AGAIN. It’s obvious that I watch a LOT of horror movies. The simple fact that I run this site is testament to that. I have to say that if there is one plot twist that I have grown terribly weary of it is this: “our cast learns that through their traumatic experiences they were indeed dead this entire time”. Which, in my opinion, negates ¾ of the film by saying that their actions had no tangible effect on the outcome. Sigh. Yeah, it seems to be horror’s get-out-of-jail-free card and has been used to excuse way too many plot holes along the way. So, does 7500 do just that? Use this particular gimmick to unapologetically try to cover up a messy, plot-hole laden film that has languished in distribution hell for seemingly longer than I can remember first seeing a trailer? Yeah. Oh yeah.
Our story opens with a plane full of passengers shuffling their way onboard to ultimately wind up in Tokyo. Being a Takashi Shimizu film I ultimately thought that that idea of Tokyo as the destination would play a bigger role as the film played on. Of course I also thought that I would be writing a far more positive review of this film, so I digress. We spend a little time with some of our core passengers; a husband and wife (Ryan Kwan and Amy Smart) about to call it quits, although their friends still don’t know it yet as they all make their way to Japan, a recently married couple that are obviously mismatched, a flight attendant struggling with her relationship with a pilot who’s married and various others including a stereotypical goth girl, a thief, a shady businessman and more. We get the idea that 7500 might have been a cathartic film for the writer (Craig Robinson – whose earlier efforts have neither left me impressed or outraged) as most of the film focuses on relationships, their pitfalls and ultimately the errs of souls in love. I get it. In fact, we get it, sorta hit over the head with it repeatedly until the somber tone of the film begins to annoy rather than endear. This is probably one of the worst offenses, in fact. Quite frankly, the pairing of Shimizu and Robinson as a creative team is just mismatched from the start. While the Ju-on director has shown us his visceral style, Robinson is much more a slow burn writer whose scripts have felt more Lifetime movie than horror movie by comparison. The mismatch is evident as most of the horror happens off-screen and although we do get a bit of a creep factor from time to time, it never quite comes to fruition.
The cast, although competent, is never given much to do and while we recognize a lot of the faces they are lost in a tedium of gestures that never really begin to explore their range. Even more frustrating is the lack of follow-through on probably one of the more interesting subplots that could have actually switched up the banality of these characters but instead is somehow forgotten as though it never existed by the time the third act starts to draw to a close.
In the end, 7500 stalls in mid-air as we are shown that the characters never survived an unexpected cabin pressure event that occurred earlier in the film and that everything since has been a part of their own personal purgatories. Again, I get it. The problem is, we’ve all got it before. We’ve all seen it before and it comes across as just too convenient a device to wrap up a film that while it might have made it off the ground, it just never quite hits cruising altitude.
7500 gets its theatrical release October 3rd.