The Russian movie Row 19 blends catastrophe movies and supernatural horror in a sick way, but it ultimately succeeds in showing the worst of both worlds. The movie depicts a completely perplexing story about a doctor and her six-year-old daughter taking a flight. The movie’s story, storytelling, and technical execution are all unimpressive and quickly forgotten, just like the ancient aeroplanes it shows.
Row 19 Plot Summary
The movie opens with a middle-aged woman and her little daughter, Katya, flying through incredibly stormy skies in an aeroplane. Katya awakens from her slumber to find herself by herself in the middle of a lot of commotion and confusion inside the aeroplane. The young girl turns to look after hearing some murmuring and whispering from a seat behind her to see an elderly woman chanting some strange-sounding words; when the elderly woman opens her eyes, they are unnaturally white and lack pupils. Until the movie jumps ahead in time, Katya is seen strolling through a wilderness while still alive and covered in blood after surviving the plane crash. Twenty years have elapsed since that accident, as determined by newspaper articles, and one day a group of reporters approaches Katya, who is now in her middle age, to inquire about her prior experiences. Katya, who is joined by Diana, her own six-year-old daughter, attempts to avoid discussing the heinous incident in her past explicitly and just states that she makes an effort not to think about it. Diana unwittingly assists her mother by diverting the topic of conversation and jokingly discussing Katya’s ability to overcome her phobias. Diana explains that her mother has lost her fear of flying as it becomes more apparent to viewers that something evil may have occurred aboard the crashing aeroplane. They are actually preparing to board a plane to visit Diana’s grandfather the next day. The mother and daughter are seen boarding their aircraft the following night as the reporters promote the interview and their programme as one about the human will to overcome one’s worries. The weather for the evening is hazardous once more, with a huge storm and continuous snowfall. However, this is only the start of Katya’s problems as she slowly finds herself drawn into a night of bizarre events while in a setting that is starting to resemble the accident from twenty years ago.
Warning: Major Spoilers
What Does Katya Experience Through The Flight? Why Is She Freaked Out By Them?
Seven passengers and two flight attendants make up the majority of the passengers on the aircraft Katya and Diana board because most flights have been cancelled due to the ominous weather outside. Other passengers include an old couple named Evgeniy and Galena, a wealthy, haughty businessman named Nikolay, a young man with long hair who is socially awkward named Pavel, and a man of Katya’s age named Alexey. Katya is frightened by strange events involving these fellow passengers, but first, she is dealing with personal issues. Before takeoff, Katya uses the restroom, and when she opens the door to exit, she notices that she has been transferred to her old house along with her mother, who had perished in the plane crash. She quickly returns to the present, but the visions keep happening. The first time, she sees herself as a young child dining with her mother, even though she had passed away a few weeks earlier. The second time, she terrifies sees her mother becoming possessed by something, which causes her eyes to turn white, just like the elderly woman on the plane. Another time, Diana joins her as she is brought back to her own house before they boarded the plane. Now that odd things have started happening on the plane, Katya wonders whether they might just cancel the plan to fly that night completely. However, she is quickly pulled back to the present. Just as Katya did anxiously when she could not locate her mother during the accident twenty years prior, she hears her own daughter yell out at her, claiming that she had left her. She attempts to comprehend why she is experiencing these visions and what they might imply throughout the entire journey as well as all the bizarre impossibilities occurring onboard. Katya begins sensing and seeing the presence of a dark ghostly figure inside the strangely empty plane practically immediately before takeoff. She notices more of these sleek, gleaming black figures and hands emerging from corners as things get weirder; at one point, they even pin her down until she mentally throws them off. These figures also appear to be tied to the consciousness that keeps taking over everyone else, the one that the old woman, actually a witch (as dubbed by the film), has evidently unleashed. They may be a very literal manifestation of her internal concerns that she repeatedly strives to overcome.
The elderly couple are the first to cause problems with the other passengers because the lady, Galena, is initially terrified to fly. Being a doctor, Katya gives her her own anxiety medication and then takes a lot of them herself. But soon after, Evgeniy, Galena’s husband, becomes ill and dies before he can receive any assistance. Evgeniy appears to get possessed by the “white-eyed thing” (my term, not the movie’s) when Katya attempts to revive him, and he briefly lashes out at her before passing away. Much later yet, Katya seemed to be affected in the same way by Evgeniy’s dead body, which was lying in wait in a back row draped in a shroud. Galena appears to be highly upset by the entire experience for the majority of the time, and she also displays denial while sitting next to her dead husband as if nothing had happened to him. But near the end of the movie, she goes to use the restroom. When she doesn’t come back even after a while, Katya and the flight attendants go to check, and they discover that nobody is in the restroom. One of the characters simply vanishes without a trace. This facet of Nikolay’s character is also present in his frequent anger and displeasure with the seating arrangements on board the aircraft. Nikolay is a capitalist who is accustomed to travelling with business-class luxuries. After some time alone, he attempts to talk to Pavel, but the young guy displays very weird and terrified behaviour and makes no attempt to engage in conversation. Pavel sends Nikolay images of his family and asks to see what he has been sketching throughout this period. When Nikolay receives no response, he assumes Pavel is a drug user (anybody would think so by his actions).
Pavel, however, appears frightened since he has a unique talent that enables him to predict the near future based on what he unconsciously sketches in his notebook. He tries to utilise this ability for good by advising Nikolay not to smoke inside the cabin, but the businessman, who is now irritated with his predicament, ignores him. As the man burns his gas lighter with a drop of the flammable liquid that had been dripping from a vial above his head into the cabinets, he instantly catches fire. The man’s entire body catches fire in a matter of seconds, and his other passengers attempt to save him by covering him with heavy blankets. When these covers are taken off, Nikolay is seen to be completely burned, but the man is still alive. Katya and Diana were seated next to Alexey, who struck up a cordial chat with them. As he helped Katya with all the craziness going on, the man eventually became close to both the mother and the daughter. Alexey says they are side effects of her medications, despite Katya’s accusations that a thing is consuming everyone’s bodies. As a combat reporter who at one point came dangerously close to death from a terrorist bombing, he admits that he, too, once took such medications. Finally, Alexey makes an effort to soothe Katya and persuade her that not everything is beyond her control. But bizarrely, the man himself begins to bleed from his skull and eventually collapses dead on the ground. The two flight attendants also continued to act oddly, especially in Katya’s view, as they disregarded all of her allegations and offers of assistance. As it is also their responsibility to prevent any panic on board, their behaviours, similar to those of strict school teachers, initially seem reasonable. However, when random strangeness begins to occur on board, their obstinacy seems out of place. When the flight attendants announce that they will be landing the plane in Novosibirsk owing to terrible weather, Katya is pretty confident that they are also under the influence of that same creature. The first jet had crashed in Novosibirsk twenty years prior, and just hearing the name of the city gives Katya the creeps and the impression that something extremely horrible is going on there. In the end, it looks as though Katya tries to overcome her own anxieties and a few supernatural antics, but nothing about these events or what they might mean matters in the slightest.
Row 19 Ending Explained: How Had Katya Managed To Survive The Accident?
The storyline completely shifts in the final few minutes of the movie to what truly occurred to Katya twenty years earlier and how she was able to survive the plane disaster. She recognises that the cockpit door is, in some manner, the exit from this nightmare when she views Pavel’s paintings of herself moving in that direction. Katya rushes through it as Diana is held next to her. The two enter a compartment with a cockpit door that resembles one another at its end. They cross it and, as if caught in a loop, land in the same spot. At some time, the cabin starts to seem brand-new and different, and Diana suddenly vanishes. Katya recognises her daughter, but she also notices a spectral black creature emerging from the shadows and approaching her. When the old woman or witch speaks again, she informs Katya that what we have been watching is actually a dream that the young Katya had. She is indeed a small child of six years old who is seated on the collapsing airliner. The witch is casting the spell that will cause the plane to crash, and by putting young Katya to sleep, she is also shielding her from the dread of it. But when she keeps coming up from sleep, she says that Katya is a really remarkable girl. Since the passengers on the aeroplane that night looked exactly like those in the present, everything that follows is from 20 years ago. Little Katya locates her mother, who passes away shortly after, and sits in row 19 as though realising that she must be there to survive. Except for the very last row, number 19, which is unharmed and secure, the plane crashes and breaks apart. The movie fades to darkness as young Katya blinks.
If Katya survived the crash, the witch’s voice had claimed that the adult Katya and her daughter Diana were merely figures in 6-year-old Katya’s make-believe version of her life. After that, she declares that she is now in control of her own destiny, and the movie’s conclusion implies that she survives the crash. Since there is virtually no way to tell what is genuine and what was the tiny girl’s imagination, it is unknown if Katya actually survives the aftermath, as in, managing to survive by herself in a forest in Novosibirsk. The film’s conclusion attempts to reveal its biggest twist in the most unexpected way, yet nothing of it succeeds. Overall, Row 19 is a poor and sloppy viewing. There is almost a sense that the story was forced for so long to have such a conclusion.