For those of you who like to keep your horror as real as it gets, United 93 goes all out. Director Paul Greengrass doesn’t pull any punches. But I don’t recommend this movie lightly.
MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING: If you have experienced anxiety in response to terrorism or following the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001, past and/or present, please take care of yourself. If this is not something you can bear witness to, then just don’t. Even if you think you’re more or less OK now, seriously sit this one out if you have any doubts at all. This film is difficult to watch, and for good reason.
This intense docudrama is based on the September 11, 2001 flight that crashed into the land near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when those on board tried to take back the plane after it was hijacked and headed towards Washington D.C. What I respect most about this film is that it doesn’t go all Hollywood. There are no blossoming romances, or supercharged inhuman feats, or sentimental emotional plays, or other gimmicks. The story is very human. It explores the events of September 11 and their effects on air traffic control, the military, and the people aboard United flight 93. It considers reactions from multiple perspectives based on records from the time. It examines courage and heroism without glorifying the people or the circumstances, coming across more as documentary than drama.
Despite the focus on actual events, the result, which more or less develops in real time after some introductory sequences, is very visceral and very intense. So, although this movie is not technically a horror film, it certainly qualifies in my book. Probably even more horrifically because it doesn’t seem to embellish nearly as much. Knowing the story itself, it becomes harder to suspend disbelief. Everything isn’t shown in graphic detail, but the movie still earns an R rating for the sheer terror of it all. The confusion comes across as genuine, not as a means of furthering the plot or of telling a more compelling story from a filmmaking perspective. Nothing need be embellished and, although you know the outcome already while watching it, the shock and intensity is still chilling to say the least.
I give United 93 5.0 Cthulus.(5 / 5)
I don’t rank many things at 5.0 Cthulus (in fact this may be only the second such ranking from me in a written review after the Ask a Mortician YouTube channel), but this movie takes on very delicate subject matter in a way that is respectable, and that is worth a lot, especially in the filmmaking industry.
If you want to watch it yourself, you can find the film on Amazon here. Remember, as an Amazon affiliate, we get some $ back from purchases if you buy from any of our links, so Cthulu says shop away…