Flight, starring Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot who steers a malfunctioning plane to near safety, releases on DVD and Bluray this week and, while I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie, it had one of the best plane crashes in movie history. That was one of my biggest issues with this movie. It had a fantastic beginning but then turned into a Lifetime Alcoholics Anonymous drama. But, in dedication to the amazing crash, this week’s list covers the 5 coolest, yet most terrifying plane crashes in cinema.
5 – Fight Club
This one comes out of nowhere. In fact, this movie has zero percent to do with plane crashes. The plane’s significance in the movie is important because it’s where Ed Norton “meets” Tyler Durden. Also, because Norton’s job in Fight Club is a Recall Coordinator for a large automotive firm. He is used to viewing grisly accidents. The plane crash here happens in his mind, he’s almost hopeful that a plane will collide with his plane just to shake things up. It’s shocking to see the instant mayhem and seats flying out. He seems half-annoyed when he awakens from his daydream to the ding of the seatbelt notification.
4 – Final Destination
Before this series had 19 sequels and became a Rube-Goldberg murder machine, it started with Devon Sawa foreseeing a deadly mid-air explosion from inside the plane. Yes, like Ed Norton in Fight Club, he too wakes up after the carnage, but he realizes that the catastrophe is still going to happen. It begins like any crash does, with a little bit of turbulence. But when the turbulence only heightens, so do the passengers. Panic sweeps over the cabin and when there is a fire, that can only make things worse. The sides of the plane are ripped right off and people fly right out. At last, a big ball of flame engulfs the cabin. No thanks, I’ll drive.
3 – Cast Away
Tom Hanks was kind of asking for this one. He traveled the world pretty frequently and the odds finally prevailed against him. I cannot imagine what it would be like to wake up on a flight as the nose of the plane is looking directly into an ocean. For some unintelligible reason my first thought would be about sharks. This crash is so scary because it happens so fast. Hanks does not have any time to prepare for the impact. Then immediately the plane is under water. I think I’d rather die instantly than be in a sinking soon-to-be grave. Also, I think sinking objects seen from above is terrifying. As Hanks rises to the surface, the half plane sinks deep below. This same intimidating effect was used in Life of Pi and freaked me right out. I have a looming fear that’s exactly how I’m going to die.
2 – United 93
This is the one that hits entirely too close to home. It’s been nearly a dozen years since 9/11 but I still get anxious and unsettled seeing this kind of true mayhem. This Paul Greengrass movie is a very close interpretation to what happened on flight 93. This movie is a one-time watch because it’s so heavy. But movies like this need to be seen. If you don’t get affected by the last 15 minutes of this movie, it’s very possible that you have no soul.
1 – Alive
Another true story. This movie follows the unfortunate story of the Uruguayan Rugby team. Everyone always thinks of this movie as the flick where they start eating each other. But that’s not all this group of survivors had to deal with. Before the cannibalism, they had to deal with a harrowing crash into the Andes mountains. This is a very long plane crash compared to many others. This group had to deal with severe turbulence and then the plane clipped the mountaintop and tore the plane in two. This plane crash is very reminiscent to Lost (without polar bears and meandering plots). Half of the team is sucked out of the cabin. Those were probably the lucky ones. the other half slid down the mountain, while riding a bullet. The ones that survived the crash had to suffer through far worse unfortunately.