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The Night Flier (1997) Review

Stephen King short story released straight to video which contains just about enough interesting and vaguely original ideas, plus an excellent lead performance from the talented Miguel Ferrer, to rescue it from mediocrity. Ferrer is the movie to be honest – without his strong and driving character this would have been, at best, borderline average. The guy deserves many more leads.

The concept of a Vampire flying from remote airport to remote airport in an old plane and picking off the odd attendant is certainly a tad novel. Guess it makes a change from the spooky old dude in a cloak who hangs around graveyards/old houses. And he is given a good air of mystery as the reporters close in and more pieces of the jigsaw slot into place.

Intelligently plotted and directed, Ferrer’s reporter character Richard Dees is in many ways revealed to be as much of a monster as the target of his journalistic researches. He, like the vampiric monster, is happy to destroy in order to further his own existence. Journalism is, in itself, often parasitic, feeding off the lives and misery of people to sustain itself. Only difference is, perhaps the “real monsters” are more honest about it.

There are some good special effects throughout, the odd scare to be had, and a real sense of mystery and tension is both created and sustained. Although we, the viewer, are treated so scenes that the reporters are not privy to, there’s just enough there to tantalize us without spoiling the sense of pursuit.

As one of Kings adaptations I think this has to rate high on the list of those which came out well. Many of his stories which are very large in scope and plot such as The Stand tend to fall down, whereas these smaller and more intimate tales focusing on a few main characters and less grandiose vision of horror come across more solidly.

It’s an enjoyable watch with an excellent performance from Ferrer, and a somewhat novel take on the vampire/serial killer idea. The ending is suitably ironic and adds to the feature as a whole. Just different enough to be refreshing as well, this is certainly one I would recommend.

Movie Details

Director: Mark Pavia
Writers: Mark Pavia, Stephen King, Jack O’Donnell
Actors: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, Michael H. Moss,
Release Year: 1997