Well after my visit to the highlands of Scotland and my drool over Miss Poots it was off to another another era and a quite different premise. This movie never played here in any local cinemas which annoys me because the big screen would have done an incredible amount of justice to it what the small screen robs it of. Pure atmosphere and tension.
I've already tried writing about this movie already but that terrible curse of writers block kicked in. I have been struggling how to write this movie up as it is a surprisingly good flick. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense would be very proud to have made this one! It is a genuine thriller with tautness and suspense you can physically feel. It is one of those movies that engages the viewer in what is going on before them. That to me is a sign of a good movie, because if you become so engrossed in what you are watching you actually forget that there is a real world outside.
Buried is one of the most orginal movies to come along in a very long time. It isn't just the plot it is the singular fact that it stars only one person. That of course is Ryan Reynolds. We never physicaly see another person in the whole movie. It is a quite extraordinary film to watch because of this. 127 Hours was similar but there were other characters involved at various times. In Buried it is one actor and one actor alone.
This initially leds the viewer astray as the movie starts. For the first 10-20 minutes I began to squirm as nothing really happened and I wondered how they could keep up a premise of one man in a box for nearly two hours. This is the brilliance of it all, for as you start to think this things start to change as Reynolds starts using his cell phone and his desperation deepens. Once what is going on becomes apparent this movie grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It quickly picks up pace and the suspense deepens to the point where the viewer is quite literally gripping the arms of their chair.
Yes, this is a suspenseful thriller of the highest order and it has been a very long time since I have seen a film like it. Reynolds is absolutely amazing at as a man who finds himself in an unusal, and terrifying predicament. We share his frustration, his fear, and ulimate desperation as it becomes clearer that he probably will never get out. It is also topical as it details actual events that are happening to foreigners within Iraq.
One would think that a film with one guy in a coffin would be boring and limited in scope. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a multitude of camera angles that change our view within the box, and several shots that pull away upwards that give a feeling of depth and the physical sensation of actually being buried alive. For a one actor, one physical set, this is an absolutely brilliant bit of film making. It just has to be seen to be believed. It is original and masterfully played out. It starts slowly and builds the tension perfectly.
I only have two minor quibbles though. I thought the snake unnecessary. Sure it added drama and a bit more length and suspense to a realtively short movie, but I kept wondering, how did it get in if the coffin was buried? Also at times I felt the character 'lost' it too easily. Sure it isn't me in the situation but there were times I felt calmness was the order of the day and I wanted to slap him at times as his histrionics didn't seem right for certain situations. Of course it is too build suspense and sympathy but it became a bit unreal at times. But all in all they are minor distractions and don't take anything away from the movie.
And it doesn't end how you might expect. For those who haven't seen it I won't give it away. Suffice to say it adds substance to film as we, not only as viewers, but human beings, physically, emotionally, and mentally, feel it is ourselves in the box and not a film character. The end is a real gut wrencher which leaves your nerves absolutley frazzled.
In short you'll be talking about this movie for along time after you see it. It is quite simpley brilliant in execution, pacing, and at grabbing the viewers attention. This is one movie you just cannot watch without getting personally involved in. I'm sure it is the makers intention to do so and they do it with real style.
UNMISSABLE, and truely terrifying for its suspense and the feeling of it being all too uncomfortably believable. This is true life horror without any need for demons, ghosts etc to scare, because horror in the guise of thrillers just doesn't come any better than this.