Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 23, 2021)
With 2020’s Horizon Line, we get a thriller about a life-or-death circumstance. A year prior to the story’s events, Sara Johnson (Allison Williams) and Jackson Davisen (Alexander Dreymon) enjoyed an intense vacation romance, but it didn’t last.
Because both plan to attend the wedding of a mutual friend, they now find themselves on a dinky one-engine plane piloted by Sara’s friend Wyman (Keith David). They miss the ferry to the island on which the ceremony will take, place so this aircraft becomes the only way to get there, and they expect a routine flight.
However, once airborne, Wyman suffers a fatal heart attack. This leaves Sara and Jackson on their own as they try to fly their way to safety.
In the annals of plot heavy movies, no one will ever include Horizon Line. While the filmmakers gussy up the proceedings with the tension between Sara and Jackson, the flick really just revolves around various issues they confront while in the air.
Superficial though that may sound, it brings reasonable room for excitement. At its core, Line brings a tale of survival against the odds, and that kind of film doesn’t need a complicated narrative.
That kind of film does need a sense of believability and tension, though. Unfortunately, both quantities seem in fairly short supply during this melodramatic and borderline campy flick.
To sustain the viewer across 92 minutes, the filmmakers searched for various obstacles to throw in the way of Sara and Jackson. While the basic premise of the need to maintain the flight after the death of the pilot would become scary enough in real life, without additional issues, that movie would become pretty monotonous.
As such, Line churns out one problem after another. Though these start out fairly believable, they get sillier and sillier as the movie progresses.
I get the impression the filmmakers quickly ran out of reality-based obstacles so they needed to become more and more “creative”. Unfortunately, this just means we find one contrived, ludicrous scene after another.
As dopey as Line may be, it still manages moderate entertainment value across its fairly brief running time, as the basic premise sustains us. Don’t expect an actual good movie here, though, as this turns into a pretty dopey affair.