Given the global pushback with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I imagine there will be a break in the importing of entertainment from the country. And if Row 19 is any indicator of the type of releases to come from Russia in the near future, we won’t be missing much. As with many of the Russian exports, Row 19 is a genre film with a generic storyline and sub-par CGI effects. At best, the supernatural horror movie feels like a “Twilight Zone” episode bloated to feature length.
As a young child, Katarina (Svetlana Ivanova) was the sole survivor of a plane crash, which has made her something of a minor celebrity. Despite the tragedy occurring when her mother took her on a flight as a young girl, Katarina has no qualms taking her own six-year-old daughter on a late-night flight in a storm. Predictably, the flight runs into problems. Less predictable is the supernatural events which occur along with turbulence.
The flight has very few passengers due to the storm, but they each begin to meet their demise in an assortment of creative and unlikely accidents. At first the deaths resemble reality, with an elderly passenger suffering some type of medical emergency, but quickly escalate into surreal and sudden moments of violence. There is an explanation for the entire thing, which is extremely predictable from the halfway point on.
While Row 19 may not be a terrible film, it is far from a good one. The premise is stretched thin to a point of being boring, even with several creative death scenes. The horror elements are diminished by the execution of special effects. An over-reliance on computer generated imagery removes any semblance of realism from an already unbelievable premise. The horror is also too ambiguous for impact, never clearly establishing the rules of the cinematic world. At 78-minutes, Row 19 is a chore to view.
The Blu-ray has no special features other than the film’s trailer. And this is one film that may be helped by a lower definition image, to better hide the poor special effects.
Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 1/10
Special Features: 0/10