Look around your room right now. You will no doubt see an air vent somewhere. You might think that it’s for transporting climate-controlled air around your dwelling, and you’re right. But if you watch enough movies, you’ll realize that it’s apparently meant to be used for many other things. It’s intended as a means of illegal break-in and escape. Or maybe you can use it to hide things, even people. Whatever the case, if you’re only using your air vent and ducts for climate control, then you’re misusing the product. Here are the nine best examples of ventilation duct usage in movies.
Die Hard (1988)
This whole movie wouldn’t work without the wonders of the ventilation duct. John McClain might as well pay rent for all of the stuff he did living in there. He made it his entire base of operation, evading Severus Snape… er, Alan Rickman.
Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989)
Ventilation ducts aren’t that big. They can’t hold most people. And even the ducts that are big enough to hold a person surely couldn’t hold the girth of John Candy. Still, the duct in Who’s Harry Crumb? gave us a little humor, with Candy dressed as a vent repairman from Bombay, before the exhaust blew him out the other end.
I bet when you saw the list title, this was the first movie that came to mind. It’s the quintessential ventilation duct scene.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
In real life, it’d be hard for anyone to squeeze into an air duct. And like I said about John Candy, it’d be especially hard for a fat guy to squeeze into one… unless he’s Santa Claus and knows how to use magic to squeeze into tight chimneys millions of times one night a year. Sure enough, employing his special Fat Ass Through Tight Spaces technology, Santa and the kids escape from the martians.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The ventilation system played a somewhat large role in the Coens’ Oscar-winning film. It was where Llewellyn hid the money in the hotel room; it’s where Anton Chigurh sniffs it out; and it’s part of Ed Tom Bell’s search later.
Mission Impossible (1996)
The one scene that everyone remembers from Mission Impossible is the vault heist where Tom Cruise dangles from the ceiling. But most people probably forget the unsung hero of that memorable scene- the ventilation duct, which is where Franz Krieger (Jean Reno) operates the harness that keeps Ethan (Cruise) from falling to the floor. Don’t be anti-ductite. Honor the ventilation duct that made it all possible.
Top Secret! (1984)
Yet another example of the ventilation duct escape used for humor, Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) uses the ducts to try to get out of prison, but fails in comical ways. At one point, his head pops out of a toilet. I guess he should have turned left at Albuquerque. Also, is it possible to get an air conditioned (and heated) toilet? Because that would be awesome.
Writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack) used the air duct to escape from his haunted room, only to find out that the ventilation duct was haunted too. Strangely enough, this might be the only thing I remember about 1408. And I even kind of liked it.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Harold and Kumar use the ventilation duct during a prison escape, and the scene features a heartfelt conversation between Harold… and Kumar, tightly encased and lost in a ventilation duct.