15, 95 Minutes. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, Jose Luis Garcia Perez & Erik Palladino. Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Ryan Reynolds and Rodrigo Cortés leave other suspense thrillers six feet under.
Buried alive or drowned? Sick as it sounds we've all talked about it. Well now you can see how being buried alive in a coffin could play out in a movie because lets face it there wouldn't be much breathing room for dialogue in a film called 'Drowned'. Rodrigo Cortés give us a claustrophobic, intense perception of how someone may fare in 'Buried', a Spanish-Australian indie thriller-horror film. The unlucky soul in this 'situation' (an understatement which is used a lot in this movie) is Paul Conroy, a truck driver played by Ryan Reynolds, who is going to need more than a Green Lantern to see his way through this one.
Paul wakes up in his new wooden home after being ambushed by insurgents while working out in Iraq. He has little space and little help. Just a zippo lighter, a knife and a cell phone. Well at least he can see and talk because otherwise we would be in for a long hour and a half. These 90 odd minutes however fly by as this bold one man show works. It's suspenseful, gripping and at times it's funny, moving and scary. It gives the audience all the same emotions that the main character would feel. It works the way a perfect movie should. Your put in Paul Conroy's shoes or more aptly here, his place.
As Paul begins to realise that 911, the FBI, his friends and his work are no use it's up to him to abide to the 'Don't call us, we'll call you' let down code. As Conroy's captors ring they make their demands known. They want a million by 9PM or they wont help him. Conroy is forced to make a ransom video as he is running out of both time and space. There's a lot more than meets the eye that's going on but all Ryan Reynolds wants to do is go back home and I don't blame him with a wife like Scarlett Johansson.
'Buried' is Hitchcock inspired and minus a few things it's a classic in it's own right. No film this year puts you in it's place as much as this one. It's tenser than most horror movies and will literally leave you on the edge of your seats, save the other strap line half-truths from other films. This film really does capture you from start to finish. Things like the old zippo lighter flicking on and off and the condensed noises really add to the genuine feeling of intense drama. The camera angles are really well done but maybe a few more tricks or even basic principles would of enhanced the feeling of desperation and fear even more.
Superhero movie man of the moment Ryan Reynolds puts in a career performance, despite normally being a light-hearted guy that reminds you of Dane Cook (and I think in this scenario Reynolds would rather face those killer horses). Reynolds is believable and on the tip top of his acting game with a performance to die for. To think Reynolds was merely in a studio is what is unbelievable because he sells this so well. He handles himself extremely well, especially when hilariously dealing with an annoying friend of his wife's.
Overall Reynolds and Cortés manage not only to keep the audiences suspense but their interest in this picture. The scene may have been easily set but for the drama and story to unfold properly the film had to make the best use of the space it had to work with and it did that with little room for improvement.Even if it was an extra half hour long it still wouldn't feel stretched out. The fact that the acting and the direction of this film is so evocative that it makes drama out of one principal character in one place redefines modern cinema. It triumphs where movies like 'Open Water' failed. You can bet your life on this one that this film wont be lost underneath all the rest out right now. Somewhere Hitchcock is smiling, not turning in his grave. TIM DAVID HARVEY.