Buried (2010)

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Movies

It takes a snake to kill the tension in Buried. Weird, considering the other gaping plot holes to consider, but this is Hollywood. Paul (Ryan Reynolds) is buried alive somewhere in Iraq, his location unclear and people he’s called over the cell phone inside his casket no help. He falls asleep, mostly out of panic.

The screen goes black, as it does quite often considering the conditions, cutting the audience off from Paul’s small world. When we come back, there’s a snake in the casket, crawling on Paul’s leg. It’s mind blowing because there’s no sense of where the snake came from, and this is deep into the movie. Instead of paying attention to the enormity of the situation, you’re begging for an answer because it breaks the movie wide open. When you find out where, it’s all too late, the scene is botched, and interest has waned.

Credit then to director Rodrigo Cortes for pulling the audience back in via frustration, anger, and panicked drama. Paul’s efforts to escape his potential tomb are few, and no one seems to help. Part of that falls back on Paul, making poor decisions with the cell phone, lighter, flask, and glow stick provided to him. Consider them plot holes, stupid character traits, or whatever else you can think of; in reality, they’re choices made under duress, a way to get the audience yelling at the screen to save this character.

It’s a human reaction, even if that person is simply an image on a TV screen. There’s that drive to survive, this despite knowing so little about this trapped truck driver. He was ambushed after one of the supply trucks hit an IED, Paul blacking out in the process, and then shoved into a wooden box. Buried does almost everything right in this regard, generating that deep tension as he makes the wrong decisions and frustration as people on the other end of the line are more concerned with politics and lawyers than helping him.

For a movie shot inside a casket with almost no light, Buried keeps thing interesting visually, a number of unique views, finding needs for Paul to move around ever so slightly, and swapping out the lighting of a lighter for something else. It’s not a static film, even if the situation dictates that it should be. Story elements are as enticing as the style, an impressive little film and thriller with an ending that throws everything you just watched in a new perspective.

IMBD: Link | Wiki: Link | Download: Part 1 | Download: Part 2 | Download: Part 3

  1. Pam Schaeffer says:

    I wish I would have read your review before I rented this movie last night. This movie REALLY pissed me off!! The snake part freaked me out LOL. Too many holes in the plot. Could have been a much better movie.

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