Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Box

Movie name: The Box
Year of release: 2009
Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Holmes Osborne, Sam Oz Stone, Gillian Jacobs, Celia Weston, Deborah Rush
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis:"The Box" is Richard Kelly's third feature, following the critically acclaimed "Donnie Darko" and the not so well received "Southland Tales". The film adapts a short story from Richard Matheson, author of "I Am Legend" and "What Dreams May Come" amongst others. The film introduces us to the Lewis family, mother Norma, father Arthur and son Walter. Arthur works at NASA and Norma is a teacher. Early one morning someone drops a box at their doorstep and later that day they are visited by a mysterious and disfigured man who explains that the box is a test. If they press it, someone they do not know will die, but they will get a briefcase with one million dollars. After debating, Norma decides to press the button and that's when strange events start occurring. The most interesting thing that "The Box" manages to create is a sense of dread and impending doom that the director smartly builds. The tension keeps on escalating progressively, smartly letting the characters unravel the thread. The only problem the film holds is the fact that the narrative is too scattered and too many plot points seem to not fit. But nonetheless, the film manages to be entertaining and there are plenty of ideas on display. The acting is good, with highlights going to Frank Langella who creates a scary and menacing Mr. Steward. The period reconstitution is impeccable as is the soundtrack. Worth checking out.