Films set on planes have an advantage over other films. No matter how bad things get, you can’t just get up and leave. Director Massimiliano Cerchi (Hellinger, Holy Terror) knows this and takes full advantage in Mayday and move classic haunted house tropes into the unfriendly skies.
Flight 88 is about to begin an 8 hour trip from Los Angeles to London. The passengers and crew are the usual odd mix you find on a movie plane. A doctor (Raj Kala, Bleed), newlyweds Mark (Christopher Drummond, The Last Revenants), and Penny Tillman (Elise Muller, The Phoenix Incident). Mr. Simms, (Michael Wainwright, Lilith, The Crossing) a large, rough-looking guy who doesn’t want to let go of his briefcase.
There are also flight attendants Lynn (Chanel Ryan, Circus Of The Dead, Bad Kids Go to Hell) and Aeryn (Sadie Katz, Bus Party To Hell, Clown Fear) who both have a thing for Air Marshall Anderson (Michael Paré, Battle Drone, The Debt Collector). He also has the attention of the rather odd Rochelle (Crystal Santos, The Martial Arts Kid).
Shortly after take off the lights flicker then go out. When they come back on, Mark is missing and nowhere to be found. They do it again and the passenger next to Mr. Simms disappears. Then one of the pilots. Can they keep the passengers from panicking long enough to figure out what’s happening?
Mayday isn’t the most original of films, and I pretty quickly had an idea of what was going on. But watching it play out and the details fall into place was still fun. There’s enough jump scares and surprises to keep the film fun. I wish the film had done more with some of the characters though. Several might as well not have even been in the film, they were just introduced and ignored.
Mayday looks good despite a lowish budget. Considering that the director’s career, both under his own name and as Al Passari stretches back to the 80s. He got his start working on actual grindhouse classics like Wild Beasts and Raiders Of Atlantis. He obviously learned how to get the most for less on those sets.
A fun film that runs a fast 72 minutes, not including credits, Mayday is a good film for an afternoon watch. It’s due for release from Lionsgate in the near future.