Friday, January 21, 2011

Movie Review: Buried (2010)

Holy crap, dudes! I liked Buried! Like super-duper, scrumdiddlyumptiously loved it.

Not my kind of Six Feet Under: Paul Conroy is a dude who wakes up in a coffin. He is left some light sources, a pencil, and a cell phone. Later, it is revealed that Paul was a truck driver in Iraq whose convoy was ambushed and he was taken prisoner - buried alive until his kidnappers can gather their ransom of $5 million dollars by 9:00 pm.

Ryan Reynolds is still mostly seen as a comedic actor (at least to me) but he's actually a very believable dramatic actor. I saw it in some scenes from The Amityville Horror - after I got through fanning myself from seeing him bare-chested and wet - swoon! He carries Buried very well, and yes, even manages to include his comedic-sarcasm in a few points (loved when he called that girl and asked for the phone number and then was all like, "Thanks. Fuck you" at the end). Much can be attributed to his ability to act believably in probably the most confining role ever, and I commend him for even taking this kind of movie and really going for it with gusto.

I was for shizz that the movie wouldn't really all take place in one little coffin with one dude. I mean, that's insane! But it totally does. There is not a single shot in the entire movie that is outside the small wooden coffin that Paul is imprisoned in. I thought I felt claustrophobic in The Descent - and I don't really have a problem with tight spaces in the first place - but DAMN. This movie just smashes all those other claustrophobia movies to pieces.

 There is nothing particularly exciting about the film visually, but the director still manages to make the absolute best of his most extreme limitations. As a former film student who has tried her hand behind the camera, I am utterly fascinated by this movie. There have been movies in the past that take place in one location, but this is ridiculous. The whole movie takes place in a coffin. A freaking coffin! How can one not be amazed by this?

But surprisingly, the director was not all that limited in the number of shots he was able to use. We get close ups of Paul's eyes, mouth, the cell phone, whatever, plus medium and long shots from this side and that side, a few pans, and one nice shot that slowly pulls out from above Paul in the coffin. All in all, the way the shots are composed and edited flow very nicely and I was never once bored, which shocked me because of the lack of real action in the movie.

The "action" per se is mostly centered around Paul talking to various people on his nifty phone, trying to get and give information to those that might be able to save him. You actually find out a lot about his character this way and feel sorry for his overall situation (and his situation in the coffin, obviously) by the way people treat him when he is in such dire need for help. There is also one fantastic scene where Paul gets a very special visitor in his coffin. You better believe I belted out some expletives during that part - GAH! And this scene was perfectly revealed to us, with a slow pan down Paul's body, a way to get even the toughest guys squirming in their seats.

The film's look is also kept interesting by the use of color. For most of the beginning, Paul's only light source is the flickering flame of a Zippo and I was annoyed as hell at first that that was what was going to be used in the whole film, but the kidnappers were nice enough to leave him a bag of glow sticks and a flashlight. So we go from a dull orange flame, to a green glow stick, to the normal light of a flashlight, and occasionally the use of the red filter on the flashlight, as well, along with the bluish light from Paul's cell phone.

A very different and yet exciting little thriller, I'd say Buried was one of my favorites of 2010 horror so far.


  1. I have a hard time believing this movie can be quite good, but eh, I'll have to check it out, I'll watch anything....anything.

  2. yeah, Buried is definitely one of the greatest highlights from 2010. I wish you could have seen in theater. It was amazing to sit there in the dark of the theater hall because I felt like I was in that coffin too :)

  3. Reynolds really does pull this film off, and shows that he really can carry a film.

  4. The movie was surprisingly good considering it took place in a box. Ryan did a better job than I thought he could. Very depressing as well.

  5. Wow....
    This sounds like an awesome movie. I'm going to queue it right now.


  6. How have I not heard of this one? I will surely review it on my horror blog as soon as i get it! thanksssss.

  7. This actually a better movie than I thought it would be. If you haven't seen it then do. I just wish I had been able to see it on the big screen because it would give abetter sense of stuffiness, confinement, and Paul's growing sense of not ever getting out.
    A very original premise and well acted by a guy who I thought could never pull a role like this off.