Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Langoliers

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:May 1995
Country of origin:USA
Genre:Horror / sci-fi, Ensemble cast, Based on a book
Starring:Patricia Wettig, Dean Stockwell, David Morse, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Frankie Faison
No. of seasons:N/A

3 hour miniseries based on Stephen King's novella, which made up 1 quarter of the Four Past Midnight collection.
The plot:
A group of passengers and a copilot awaken mid-flight to discover that the rest of the passengers and crew have vanished. No sign of them remains, save for watches and jewellery and, most mysteriously, even metallic elements from within the body such as pacemakers or metal pins.
Changing course, the copilot sets them down at Bangor (the one in Maine, not Wales!) airport where they discover that people have not simply vanished from the craft, but apparently from everywhere. The airport is deserted, the air smells funny and food and drinks have no flavour at all.
And exactly what is the terrifying noise coming from over the hills and getting closer by the minute?
With a small budget, even by TV standards, the production values here are pretty low, but this is more than made up for in solid plotting and genuine enthusiasm from all involved. With minimal sets and camera angles, still the director manages to convey a sense of scope and, in many ways, the limitations are turned to an advantage as it lends a sense of the claustrophobic, the protagonists trapped in their ever decreasing environment, with no hope of escape.
Though it wouldn't really stand up to repeat viewings, this certainly had sufficient intrigue and energy to entertain for it's duration, and is recommended to both sci-fi and horror fans alike.

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