Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buried... probably the scariest, most stressful movie I have ever seen. It was also cinematically brilliant. For those of you unaware, Buried is a film where Paul Conroy (played extremely well by Ryan Reynolds) wakes up to find himself bound in a coffin and buried alive. With him is a cell phone, his lighter and a flask of liquid, among other things. He has 90 minutes before he is left to die and must figure a way out.

Now, this sound like it's just a lame horror movie which ends in a Kill Bill-esque "punching through the coffin and crawling up and out of the ground", but you'd be wrong. The movie is an intricate exploration of loneliness, the American society and mortality.

The film is brilliantly shot never leaving the confines of the coffin - ever. All shots take place within the coffin and because of this, you feel like you're in there with Conroy. The lighting is only whatever the cell phone or lighter provides and the film is mostly quite silent, bar Conroy's talking on the phone and the occasional piece of dramatic music.

While I admire the excellent execution of the film and performance by Reynolds, and also the film-maker's ability to keep the audience interested for 90 minutes while never leaving the coffin or the single actor, I do not recommend it for the faint of heart. If you are claustrophobic or have a fear of being buried alive, this film is probably your worst nightmare and even had me - generally unaffected by films - shaking for a while afterwords, haunted.

Make no mistake, this is not a life-affirming movie, but is a great study of what it means to be alive.

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