‘Buried’ film looks claustrophobic

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August 16, 2010 by Chris Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a trucker and family man who finds himself buried six feet underground with nothing but a cell phone, lighter and 90 minutes to survive.

The Halloween freak-out fest continues with the upcoming film “Buried.” In this film Ryan Reynolds plays Paul Conroy who is, um, buried alive in a small box. The trailer shows Conroy frantically making a 911 call from his cramped rectangular confines.  He blacked out and cannot remember how he came to be in this predicament.

The extended preview on experienceburied.com shows that he is being held for ransom, and suddenly there is more to his burial than he originally thought.

Trying to figure out what is going on and finding a way to wire money to his captor, Conroy finds himself between a rock and a… well… a lot of dirt. But he manages to get in touch with all of these contacts through a cell phone that happens to be in the coffin. I wish my cellphone had that kind of reception in my basement, never mind 6 feet under.

This film is clearly designed to feed off of human emotion and fear, more specifically claustrophobia. I just hope the confines of Conroy’s small wooden prison doesn’t make the film feel too cut off from excitement. Don’t get me wrong, “Phone Booth” was… interesting, but we have already seen it. An entire feature length movie taking place in one very secluded scene is tricky and limits creative direction.

If the whole movie does take place in the cramped space, it will add to the fear and viewer empathy levels, but at the same time if not done with a good story telling element, viewers will start to lose interest in the movie.

There appears to be a good number of twists in this film, I just hope they aren’t cheap tricks we have all seen before. I want to feel like I am in that space and at the same time feel connected and blown away every ten minutes. While I think it looks like limited potentially at face value, I think if done right, we could see an instant thriller classic. But if not, it could quite literally suffocate itself.

Conroy’s 90 minutes race to survive begins in select theaters September 24 and everywhere October 8.

What are your thoughts on this thriller?


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