A woman who survived a plane crash as a child is on a plane again with her daughter when the other passengers start dying one by one.
Written by James Rabb and directed by Alexander Babev, Row 19 is somewhere between scary and run-of-the-mill. The story is going to be a bit predictable to horror fans, but to general audiences, it should have some interesting surprises and some genuine scares. Horror fans will find the story to be more generic a bit, but should enjoy watch it too. The direction and acting in the film account for most of this. The film is done in a way that moves the story along with logical moves and a few interesting jumps here and there. A few of the scenes on the plane, past the half point of the film have some good tension and really bring the scares. Also, a few sequences are just creepy with some beings showing up and a few turns going straight into nightmare territory.
The cast here is good with the English voice cast also going well. The main cast is worth watching in their original Russian language, but if you have to, the dubbed version found on the blu ray release is more than decent. The lead here is Svetlana Ivanova as Katerina as an adult. She’s is quite good here, giving a lost yet hopeful type of vibe. Her work is central and it helps the film sell its story. Playing a character that is more memorable due to the performance is Wolfgang Cerny as Alexey. He steals a few scenes and makes the viewer wish he had more screentime. His chemistry with Ivanova is possibly more interesting than what she has with her character’s daughter. Throughout the film, the mother-daughter relationships, that of Katerina and her mother and that of Katerina and her daughter, seem strained, something that works for child Katerina and her mother but doesn’t work as well for Katerina and her daughter. Something here feels not quite on point for these relationships and these being central to the film, it does affect it. This could be due to writing, directing, acting, or a combination.
In Row 19, one of the things that stands out in a positive way is the special effects. Here there are a bit of a mix of practical and cgi, the teams for these did great work and some of the creepier scenes come from those. The scenes in dreams in particular with mirrors used for effect, presences, etc, are fantastic and bring up the film as a whole on the enjoyment scale.
Row 19 is a decent horror film with some creepy elements, but it is clearly more aimed at the general public than hard core horror fans. While horror fans may see some of the twists coming and not exactly get scared here, general audiences should find thing a good entry into paranormal airline horror. The above-mentioned dream sequences are possibly the better parts of the film.
Row 19 will be released by WellGoUSA on disc and digital on May 31st, 2022.