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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Rippner, mainly because of his Draco in Leather Pants/Mr. Fanservice status (and the fact that he has no back story and his actions can easily be interpreted in various ways). Some fans consider Rippner a misunderstood Anti-Villain who was just doing his job and had genuine feelings for Lisa, but others think of him as a Psycho for Hire. Then there are some who even think Rippner was a cold-hearted and ruthless assassin who never cared an ounce about Lisa and was only using Lisa's past against her to mess with her mind.
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  • Complete Monster: Jackson Rippner is an unscrupulous contractor who hires himself out to terrorist networks to assist in toppling governments and high-profile assassinations. He uses his skills of manipulation instead of weapons because he's much better at it. His latest target is a renowned US official, whom he plans to blow up along with his wife and children because his bosses wanted to send a message. He needs Lisa, a Miami hotel manager, to change the official's room on her authority to make the kills possible. He stalks Lisa for weeks to learn everything about her, then arranges to be on the same red eye flight with her and gain her confidence initially. He threatens to have his associate kill her retired father if she doesn't make the call, torturing her mentally and assaulting her. When she foils his plan, he goes to kill her father anyway instead of escape to make good on his threat, and tries to murder Lisa. On top of that, he's also a misogynist, and casually notes he killed his own parents when asked about the subject.
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  • Crossover Ship: There's a surprising amount of fics that ship Rippner with Jonathan Crane. For those of you who want hot Cillian Murphy on Cillian Murphy action! Of course, some fans have Rippner and Crane be brothers instead. Or both.
  • Cult Classic: The fandom is small, but quite devoted.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Rippner has a lot of fans who are willing to defend him, despite his manipulative and violent nature. Not surprising, since he's played by Cillian Murphy.
  • Ending Aversion: Several viewers didn't like the third part of the film because it mimicked the typical Knife Nut villain often seen in Wes Craven films, while others did not like the ending at the hotel because they found it unnecessary and odd that it ended with Lisa returning to the hotel right after a threatening ordeal like nothing happened and without getting questioned by the police.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The little girl that manages to keep a cool head at a crucial moment and trip Rippner, which, in hindsight, probably saved Lisa's life.
  • Fanfic Fuel: For a non-franchise film, it has a lot of fanfic. Common plots involve exploring Jackson Rippner's past (especially the Noodle Incident in which he apparently killed his own parents) and who his employers are, Lisa's own past, and Continuation Fics picking up from where the movie left off.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Sort of. It's not part of the film proper, but Wes Craven revealed in the DVD commentary that "Jackson Rippner" isn't his real name; just a made-up alias. The fandom tends to ignore this entirely in fanfiction.
  • Foe Yay: Lisa and Rippner's relationship has a very intentional, very sexual undertone to it, and it's canon that Rippner has a crush on Lisa. Lisa initially liked him back, but once she finds out the truth about Rippner, she quickly and understandably gets over it and hates him instead. This does not stop the shipping. At all.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Wait, did someone break your heart?"
  • Idiot Plot: Some people feel this way about the assassination plot.
  • Love to Hate: Rippner's fans that aren't measuring him for a pair of leather pants tend to put him in this category; fully admitting that he's a misogynistic, psychotic, murderous piece of slime and loving him to bits for it. Cillian Murphy's performance probably helps.
  • Mind Game Ship: Rippner's and Lisa's "relationship" is practically built on this, what with the film revolving around the psychological mind play between them.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Rippner's fangirls, big time. The main cause of it being Draco in Leather Pants. See Alternate Character Interpretation.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Rippner more than likely crossed it a long time ago as this seemingly is not the first time he has been a part of assassination and terrorism plots, and he mentions the Keefe assassination is his last job, but viewers are divided between which of his actions shown were worse—strangling Lisa in the lavatory, knowing that Keefe's family will get killed in the assassination and willingly allowing it to happen, or trying to kill Lisa in the end of the film.
  • Narm:
    • For those who found Rippner getting pissed over a sea breeze just a little humorous.
    • When Rippner tries to speak after getting stabbed with a pen, he sounds all too much like Christian Bale's Batman. Which is funny, since it's Scarecrow playing the part.
  • Narm Charm: Jackson Rippner's name is so utterly on-the-nose that it should elicit groans and eye-rolls, but Cillian Murphy is such an intimidating, unsettling presence that no one is laughing for long. It helps that his full name is only said a handful of times, and he even lampshades what a terrible name it is to inflict on your kid.
  • No Yay: Rippner and Lisa. Rippner is a Ax-Crazy murderer out to kill Lisa's father and other people and Lisa herself. There's some sexual tension between the two and the scene in the airplane bathroom where he accosts her was dripping with rape metaphors. Word of God also says that Rippner developed feelings for Lisa in the entire time he was watching her and that he was jealous of the man who gave Lisa her scar and raped her.
  • Padding: Not for the film itself, but for the end credits (which are artificially extended to make the film longer, which is why a movie that only runs 85 minutes in total has an end credit sequence that lasts for around nine).
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Wes Craven played on the paranoia of flight: the isolation, claustrophobia, the feeling of being trapped, and sitting next to a complete stranger, not knowing who they are or what kind of person they are.
    • In a more general sense, that cute, charming, sweet guy you met turning out to not be charming or sweet, at all. Especially unsettling when you remember that Lisa is a rape victim — most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
    • It's mentioned that Rippner monitored Lisa prior to the flight, and was apparently vigilant enough that he knows her routine like the back of his hand and knows where she lives. He was watching her for eight weeks, and Lisa had no idea...
  • Ron the Death Eater: In canon, what we know of Keefe basically amounts to: he's important enough that some very powerful people want him dead, he has a family, and he stays at Lisa's hotel a lot. In fanfiction, however, he's usually portrayed as a Corrupt Politician (with degrees varying from "sleazy and underhanded in the way that many politicians unfortunately are" to "staged the whole assassination thing to look like a hero"), often to make Rippner look less evil by comparison, and make his actions retroactively seem more justified.
  • Signature Scene: The lavatory scene and when Lisa stabs Rippner in the neck with a pen.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Lisa running in heels. Though, it's justified, given there is a Psycho for Hire chasing after her and her only other option is to run around barefoot.
    • Rippner unprofessionally following Lisa to her house, an unfamiliar environment where he would be at a disadvantage. Granted, he wasn't thinking straight due to being pissed because he just got stabbed in the windpipe with a pen, but one would think he would act more professionally and slip away into the shadows instead of letting his emotions get the better of him.
  • The Woobie: Lisa. She spends about 95% of the film scared out of her mind, and for good reason — a charming stranger she met turned out to be a psychotic terrorist who was hired to force her to either choose to let her father die or be an accomplice to an assassination. And before the film, she was raped, leaving her with both a physical scar and several deep emotional ones. Throughout the flight, she's beaten up, manipulated, intimidated, and forced to comply to a truly heinous demand. It's a miracle she's still sane by the end of the movie.


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