Public transport almost never bodes well in movies. It’s like Hollywood wants us all to buy cars or something. Anyway, planes tend to fare particularly badly, probably because everyone is secretly at least slightly afraid of flying. Here are ten movies guaranteed to make you think twice about booking that flight…
1. Twilight Zone: The Movie The idea that there might be an invisible gremlin dead set on taking down your plane is eminently stealable (The Simpsons has robbed it at least once, and possibly more than that, unless my brain is playing tricks on me). Hell, The Twilight Zone stole the idea from itself, incorporating the terror from the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet episode into Twilight Zone: The Movie. Obviously, the fear of insanity, or of being falsely believed to be insane, plays a large part too, but if Bob Wilson/John Valentine hadn’t been on the plane in the first place, the gremlin wouldn’t have been able to scare him quite so much. After all, it just takes a bit of damage to a plane’s wing to screw everything right up…
2. Flightplan If you’re really, really unlucky, you might get on a plane where the flight attendants, pilot, and, um, entire airline staff are all secretly in on a plot to, um, make you out to be a terrorist by kidnapping your daughter and trying to persuade everyone that she doesn’t exist and you’re insane. Unlikely, granted, but IT COULD HAPPEN.
3. Snakes on a Plane The title says it all, really. If you’re unlucky enough to be on a plane with a witness wanted dead by lots of mafia types, they might fill the plane with hormone-crazed snakes dead set on biting, um, everything, but mostly eyeballs and genitalia. Really, all the snakes needed to do was take out the pilots to cause maximum destruction, but there weren’t many people on that flight who got out unscathed. Even with Samuel L. Jackson on your side, those motherfuckin’ snakes are gonna get you.
4. Final Destination If someone on your plane started going mental over having had a vision of the plane exploding and everyone dying horribly, you’d think that, having got off the plane, your problems were over (except the inevitable hell of rescheduling). But no – according to Final Destination, you’re going to die anyway, just for the crime of having got on the plane in the first place. Hard cheese!
5. Fight Club Bit of a stretch, this, but if you’re prone to paranoid schizophrenia, you might not want to get on a plane – your single-serving friend might turn out to be merely a manifestation of your insanity who will eventually get you into all sorts of trouble. Including getting your teeth knocked out. But getting a cuddle from Meatloaf might, arguably, be worth it.
6. Red Eye Speaking of people you don’t want to sit next to on planes, Jackson Rippner isn’t ideal. (Snigger, snigger – that’s some pretty unsubtle naming work they’ve done there!)
7. Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane This has to be one of the worst movies I’ve ever forced myself to sit through (demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of the basic geography of a plane, among other things) but it does at least offer a nugget of comfort to anyone on a plane with lots of venomous snakes: hey, at least they’re not zombies!
8. The Langoliers In this Stephen King-penned monstrosity, being on a plane puts you at risk of falling asleep, flying into a time rift, and ending up alone in a ghost world with no time or air or sound or indeed other people, where eventually you might get eaten by giant Pacmans. And you thought the worst thing about sleeping on a plane was getting a crick in your neck and potentially drooling in front of your fellow passengers.
9. Die Hard 2 The plane scenario in Die Hard 2 is possibly a bit more sensitive nowadays than it was then, but – er, yeah, watch out for terrorists on your plane. (Whether they’re worse than snakes or zombies is up for debate!)
10. Airplane Well, shit, where do I start?
The moral of the story here, then: don’t fly. Try not to need to go anywhere at all, in fact. Maybe just stay sitting on your nice, safe sofa. It’s for the best.
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