"OK, wait...this is an entire movie that takes place in a wooden coffin? With Ryan Reynolds and no other on screen actors? And it all takes place in one, small, cramped location? This movie is gonna suck." That is literally what I said to myself when I first heard of this movie. How could this possibly be good? He sort of showed he could be a serious actor in "Adventureland" but not enough to show he could carry a movie literally by himself. Then I started to hear buzz about this small indie film. Could it possibly be true? This is an effective thriller? Reynolds actually pulls it off? Well I finally got the BluRay from Netflix and watched it. Turns out I shouldn't judge movies upfront.
I really didn't think it would be possible but Spanish director Rodrigo Cortes actually uses a coffin size space to tell his entire story. The feeling of claustrophobia is felt right from the onset. When we first meet Paul Conroy (Reynolds), he has nothing on his person except a Zippo and a cell phone. That is all the lighting we get for the first half of the movie. There is much struggling and dealings with people on the phone which ratchet the tension up on a slow burn. This isn't a fast paced action thriller, it's a work-up-to-an-amazing-ending sort of movie. One that takes it's time but you are totally caught up in it the entire way. Sure, it stalls in parts, but overall this movie was amazing. Mostly because of it's confines. "Phone Booth" had a one local premise as well, but there was many outside influences to show. With this movie, there is NONE of that. It is literally Ryan Reynolds and nothing else.
Again, this is a movie I really can't mention too much about without ruining the tension or the ending. All I will say is that I never want to be buried alive. Reynolds does such a great job making me fear being trapped underground that I have sworn off caves or anything else that could bury me against my will. He does such a believable job going through his trails and tribulations that you were earnestly pulling for him by the end. The script is something just short of genius that allows Reynolds to slowly build up his character and build tension without ever having to break away to a flashback or an outside source. The only grip I would have is that he uses the Zippo far too much. For someone concerned with running out of air, he sure burns a lot of it up with that lighter.
The last half hour really fly by as the tension and emotion is ratcheted up to the extreme. At one point my wife had to leave the room because it was too much for her. I actually forgot to breath myself for the last few minutes. So go get this one. If you enjoy a unique take on the psychological thriller this will be one that could also leave YOU breathless.
8 out of 10 stars