The Night Flier (1997) Poster

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An interesting, though slightly flawed take on King
SodaCan17 October 1999
I'm not going to say that this is a great movie, or even a great horror movie. A more appropriate way of saying it might be that it's an interesting movie. Those poor filmmakers, they're starting to run out of Stephen King novels to make into movies, so they have to turn to his short stories. Usually this means what should have been a 30 minute movie is drawn out into an hour and a half or longer. But in the case of Mark Pavia's "The Night Flier", story works because Pavia is able to expand on King's original story, and he also seems to have a bit of talent as a director.

Most people complain that Miguel Ferrer's character, Richard Dees, is too mean, or something like that. QUIT COMPLAINING PEOPLE! He's suppose to be an utterly heartless, sleazy, sorry excuse of a person. You're not suppose to feel sorry for him at all as he descends to insanity. Instead having such a terrible lead character is suppose to pose the question whose the real monster? Or, actually I think it'd be more accurate to say, whose the real hero? Is there a hero? Ferrer pulls off the performance perfectly, making a character that could make James Woods or Clint Eastwood whimper in fear. Unfortunately the rest of the cast doesn't do so well, and this pulls in the movie down a little way.

Anyway, Pavia himself has a talent for gloomy atmosphere, with his overcast, gray skies and quiet music and always just slightly-off-angle photography. He expertly subdues the beginning 2/3s of the movie and then throws a bloodbath at us. It's a very well planned and a shocking move on his part.

"The Night Flier" kicks into major gear towards the end. The final, final conclusion is a little weak, but it really couldn't have ended any other way.

Overall, the couple flaws drag "The Night Flier" down to a good but not great movie, but the really cool climax and other elements make up for it, and make it a good time. Be warned, it won't leave you feeling happy or good.
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Solid adaptation of Stephen King's story.
HumanoidOfFlesh27 December 2000
I really don't understand all those nay-sayers."Night Flier" in comparison to the recent so-called horror movies about vampires is pretty good.It's quite scary,it's suspenseful,it's pretty gory and it's a good time!I hate modern vampire flicks like "Blade" or "From Dusk Till Dawn"-they're simply a big-budget Hollywood garbage with an overdose of special effects.Unlike the other reviewers I like the character of Richard Dees-this guy is so wonderfully mean that it's impossible not to like him.The acting is decent and the special effects are okay.As for the gore,there is plenty of blood in "Night Flier",but the violence is not excessive.However gore-hounds should be pleased.Make sure you find this one!Highly recommended.
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Serious, gory stuff!
le canard10 May 2002
Richard Dees is a reporter and he is a vampire because he works for a tabloid and earns his living by writing lurid stories and taking sordid pictures. He's got a despicable job and he is getting sick of it. Dwight Renfield is the Night Flier and he is a vampire too, but he is a "real" one – an evil and supernatural creature feeding itself on humans. He flies from one airfield to another across the U.S. on a black, private aeroplane. Of course he always leaves bloodless corpses behind him and Dees ends up chasing him with his tape recorder and camera. When they eventually meet, the vampire doesn't really feel like killing one of his kind, and he is ready to let him go. Yet Dees proves his curiosity will always make him chase people like the Night Flier and he will bitterly regret it. At the end of the film, everybody will see and remember Richard Dees as what he really was, that is to say a nasty character living on people's suffering. Well, this film is a great B-movie. The story is exciting, Miguel Ferrer is excellent and the film has no Hollywood-like happy ending. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice thrill and a few gallons of blood.
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Much better than I expected!
Snake-66616 July 2003
I'm not really a great fan of vampire movies, in fact there are very few that I could actually name that I like, nonetheless I rented ‘The Night Flier' because the DVD cover looked rather interesting but I still didn't expect much from this movie.

Richard Dees (Miguel Ferrer) is a journalist for a sleazy and morbid weekly publication named ‘Inside View' and is assigned to cover the story of a mysterious pilot who flies into rural airports and kills whoever is there, draining the victim of all their blood. At first Richard doesn't want the story but after seeing how big a story it could be and also wanting to put ambitious young journalist Katherine (Julie Entwistle) firmly in her place he accepts the assignment and goes in search of information on the killer he later nicknames The Night Flier.

I was very surprised by the quality of this movie. Currently I am moderately wary of Stephen King adaptations and with it also being a vampire movie my hopes were not particularly high. The first ten minutes or so of ‘The Night Flier' are fairly slow moving and rather tedious but that soon changes as ‘The Night Flier' becomes a quite adept thriller. It's not a typical vampire movie and that is probably why I enjoyed it. Instead, ‘The Night Flier' is more of a crime drama as the movie is directed towards uncovering the killer rather than stopping the killer. This makes it an interesting thriller in a way and despite some noticeably gory scenes stays away from the obvious idea of concentrating solely on the killer's activities. Tension is built up exceptionally by not concentrating too much on The Night Flier. The way the movie plays out gives it a strong purpose as it leads to a blistering finale. What we are left with is a story about a man on the edge who will do anything to get his story. The character of Richard is a bitter man, possibly socially maladjusted and one has to question whether he is in some way disturbed by all that he has witnessed in his life? He shows mental strength in his pursuit of success and seemingly fears nothing, showing no compassion or sympathy for the feelings of others yet there are still moments when he comes across as a much `softer' human being. Miguel Ferrer does an excellent job of portraying Richard and his performance in the last ten minutes of the movie is almost profound. The ending is brutal, in some ways shocking and definitely not what I expected. By the end it becomes obvious that there were two levels of horror working in this movie that came together well to leave us with ‘The Night Flier'.

There were flaws with the movie though, a couple of plot holes and many unanswered questions, though perhaps that the intent was to leave an air of mystery over the movie. Apart from Ferrer I don't think the movie was well cast as most of the other actors didn't really seem to fit the tone of the film. Furthermore, despite many great make-up effects there were also a few (one in particular) that looked awful and seemed to be totally out of place with the rest of the film. The movie was also a little slow in places and does not really get very good until about a third of the way through. These few faults though aren't really enough to harm the enjoyment and whilst this may not be to everyone's liking I personally believe it to be a well made and appealing movie. My rating for ‘The Night Flier' – 7/10.
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this is a great one
migosh24 October 1998
I didn't expect this movie to be very good, All of the recent Steven King movies have not been very good, but this was not like him at all. It is a fantastic horror movie. I recommend it for any horror lovers...this is a great one.
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Publishing Publishing
tamimarie22821 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed this movie a lot. It's about this news paper reporter named Richard Dees and he is losing slack because his stories are not being printed on the front page as much. He works for this newspaper that prints really weird stories like aliens and stuff. Then along comes a story and Richard becomes obsessed with and it takes over his whole life. Even though he warned a rookie reporter than she shouldn't become like him.

The horror movie is a little different from other horror movies that I've watched before. It has some twists and turns in it that are pretty cool but not too amazing. I liked that it was raining all the time. That just made it so much creepier.
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Creepy and inventive...
saxfiend20 March 2004
Spawned from a short story by famed novelist Stephen King, "The Night Flier" presents itself as a mystery that never strays far from horror. I honestly believe that this could be one of the most creative films of the '90s. The dark and menacing tone keeps the viewer entranced, while the mysterious elements keep them guessing till the end. The plot is coherent, and never truly strays into cliches. Production values, including special effects, for this film are exceptional when compared to similar made-for-cable movies. The cast is led by a composed and disturbing Ferrer, though the rest of is forgettable. If you like horror films that are inventive and complex then this film may very well suit you.
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One BIG fang. Multiple gory bite-marks.
Vomitron_G10 February 2006
You can say what you want about Stephen King-movies, but there's always just enough talent and budget involved to not make 'em look cheap. In THE NIGHT FLIER this talent mostly comes from actor Miguel Ferrer and SFX-artists Kurtzman, Nicotero & Berger. Ferrer is an often overlooked actor who most of the time only gets supporting rolls. But he'll always be edged in my memory as go-getter Bob Morton in Paul Verhoeven's ROBOCOP. Now he gets the chance to star in the leading roll in THE NIGHT FLIER, and he proves that he can carry a film. He was just perfect as the arrogant sleaze-reporter Richard Dees.

There's a mysterious figure flying in a black airplane and landing on small airports at night. He leaves behind him a trail of mutilated, blood-drained corpses. Richard Dees, reporter for the cheese & sleaze magazine "Inside View", is put on the case. So he gets in his airplane and starts following the same route as the vampiric murderer. Meantime, a rival reporter (the rookie Katherine Blair) is also assigned to write a story about it...

The plot is nothing too complicated, but it's built up nicely and even manages to be a bit scary from time to time. It all leads to the enjoyable final scenes at the last airport. The vampire is mostly kept in the dark throughout the movie, which helps to build-up a little tension. But don't worry, you'll be satisfied when you see it's ugly scary face in the end. Which brings us to the work of our beloved KNB-crew. The special make-up-effects are very decent and quite gory too. And I also liked the fact that the vampire is able to mess with peoples minds.

Okay, there are some improbabilities concerning some events in the plot, but lets not make a big deal out of it. Just take it as it is: It's a decent Stephen King-adaptation and a good vampire-movie, nothing more nothing less. So switch off the lights and fly with it.
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Interesting Horror Movie
libertycityrules12 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers

Armed with only a camera and a tape recorder, slimy journalist Miguel Ferrer hunts down a murderer known as The Night Flier, named so because he travels from location to location in his airplane.

The movie starts out like more of a murder mystery, and is very interesting to watch, as you are never told exactly what's going on, although when corpses with bite marks on their necks start to turn up, it gets fairly obvious. Ferrer tracks The Night Flier from location to location taking photo's of everything related to the case. As aforementioned, it starts like a murder mystery. It truly is tense, gory, and exciting, all at the same time. A lot of the story is told in a stylish sort of flashback, which adds to the tension as well as the overall style of the movie. The creepy music and ambient sounds add to the atmosphere, and the fact that we don't see the Night Flier right up until the end also builds tension.

Ferrer plays the emotionally challenged journalist expertly, showing the characters physical weakness, but mental strength to succeed. The whole affair builds to an anti-climax, which I won't spoil - suffice to say, it's not a Happy Hollywood ending.

The Night Flier is by no means the greatest horror film out there, but then again, it's not a mainstream Hollywood movie, so it never will get the recognition it deserves. It certainly gives the viewer a lot more than the recent King flop Dreamcatcher, and is definitely worth a look, especially for those looking for a decent horror or vampire movie.

8 out of 10
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