Let me just say… I think 7500 would have had a much larger, prolific release had it not been for the devastating Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 tragedy that occurred in March 2014. Some things in the movie are a little to close to home, especially for the families and communities that were ruined in over 15 countries due to the plane crash. Currently, 7500 is only available in countries like Vietnam, Philippines, Turkey, and Germany. Thanks to my region free Blu-ray player, my copy comes from Germany, but right now there is a rumored release date of October 2014 for other countries including America, Canada, England, and France. We’ll have to see what happens!
7500 is written by Craig Rosenberg (The Uninvited, The Quiet Ones) and directed by Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On, The Grudge). Cast members starring in 7500 include Ryan Kwanten (Dead Silence, “True Blood”), Amy Smart (“Felicity,” The Butterfly Effect), Leslie Bibb (“Popular,” Trick ‘R Treat), Jamie Chung (“The Real World,” Sorority Row), Scout Taylor-Compton (Rob Zombie’s Halloween & H2), Nicky Whelan (“Scrubs,” “Franklin & Bash”), and Jerry Ferrara (“Entourage”).
“On May 12th, Vista Pacific Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. The take-off is routine but what transpires over the next ten hours is anything but ordinary. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.” – IMDB
When I began this review I mentioned that 7500 would have a completely different release plan had it not been for the Flight 370 crash. Let me just clarify what I mean here. I don’t think 7500 is a strong enough title to survive in theaters. I think it would have a strong first week gross and then word of mouth would destroy it. I do think, however, that it would sell very well on DVD and VOD…which I think is the direction CBS Studios is heading with it. It’s actually not that scary and doesn’t even have a lot of typical jump scares. It’s the perfect DVD and VOD release because it is a high quality production, stars a lot of noteworthy talent, comes from a duo with a lot of hit films within the genre, and – unfortunately – could capitalize off a worldwide tragedy. It just wouldn’t fair well in theaters because word of mouth and the backlash from the press.
Despite Takashi Shimizu being the creator of Ju-On and the American remake The Grudge, his style of pasty white tormenters isn’t showcased until the end of the movie. Instead, what will really grip viewers is the mystery and the claustrophobic suspense created by being confined to an airplane. When shit goes down, you wonder “where can they go?” and “is the plane going to go down?” It starts to play with your mind in a weird way and you start to worry about the characters pictured in 7500. Only much later do white hands start popping out of floors and pulling people by their hair into overhead compartment storage units. 7500 has a real subtle kind of horror to it, one that takes a different kind of horror fan to appreciate. There’s no nudity here and barely any blood, so you need to be a fan of mild styled violence and creepy mysteries if you’re going to enjoy this title.
7500 is low on the violent, null on the nudity, but it does involve several themes through in the plot. They’re mostly used as small subplots, but it was obvious to me as a viewer. Racism is definitely one of the themes visited here. From the rich woman not wanting to sit by a black passenger to the white passenger making fun of the Asian stewardess. Looking back on it now, racism is probably showcased to be stupid here (and racism is stupid) because we all die the same way, heart stops and we go somewhere better. Adultery, pre-marital sex, and opinions on different religions are all viewed, too, but none as prevalently as racism. I think this adds a lot more credibility to the movie in terms of writing and content. It’s more than just a mystery. It’s got more than just some crazy, creepy shit to it. By exploring the themes listed above it gives 7500 an extra layer both in character development but in making you think… If you were to die, what’s one thing you’d want to let go of before you die?
The all-star line-up is going to bring fans to purchase it, too, whenever it gets a full international release. The casting department was smart in bringing cast members with various followings onboard. The “True Blood” fans are going to purchase 7500 after all of Ryan Kwanten’s shirtless romps on the HBO show. Amy Smart is part of a few mainstream series which will bring a more docile bunch of people to give it a try. Leslie Bibb has been acting the longest, so she can capitalize on an older demographic. Scout Taylor-Compton will bring in the horror crowd for sure. Again, this movie could be a big hit for CBS Studios if it were marketed correctly. And speaking of the actors, they all did a fantastic job! This was my first glimpse at Amy Smart and I think she’s so talented; and Scout Taylor-Compton shows that she’s a chameleon – I didn’t even realize it was her until the credits rolled.
Obviously I thoroughly enjoyed 7500. It was worth the wait, even though it’s on a foreign disc and I’ll probably buy it again when it’s finally released in America. I’m going to give it an 8.2 out of 10 for originality, suspense, and a great cast.