“The Box”

What’s a “box”? Something wooden to keep objects safe inside? No, the  box I’m talking about has a red button. And pressing that button is a matter of life or death.

“The Box” is a psychological horror and science-fiction film based on the short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson. The American movie is written and directed by Richard Kelly and was first released in October 2009 in Australia.

The movie is 115 minutes long and the plot takes place in the USA in the year 1976.

The main actors are Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as the couple Norma and Arthur Lewis. They live in Richmond, Virginia together with their son Walter.

One day they receive a wooden box with a red button from a mysterious old man, played by Frank Langella. The man, named Arlington Steward, makes them an unethical offer: If they  press the button they will receive one million dollars and a person they don’t know somewhere  out there in the world, will die.

After a long time of hesitating, Norma finally presses the button and the misery begins. She and her husband get more and more sucked into a dramatic predicament.

There are some exciting special effects and the brilliant soundtrack and the film music create a fantastic atmosphere. All the performances are solid, but the couple Cameron Diaz and James Marsden won’t make history as the loveliest couple in hollywood! Which brings me to my evaluation and assessment of the movie.

The first part of the film is well structured and seems quite realistic. Unfortunately, as the film goes on, it is going down hill: there is disorder, hectic action, the story gets weird. In the end, because of the obscured course of the story, the spectator gets more confused than anything else.

If it wasn’t for this chaotic second half, “the box” would be a thrilling movie right until the end.

I recommend the film to those, who are interested in watching a good science-fiction movie and who like the director Richard Kelly. His take on “button, button” is great. There is one thing that I learned after having watched this movie: I never want to get a wooden box with a red button.

However, taking into account it’s many failings, I’ll give only three of six stars.

(★) (★) (★) (  ) (  ) (  )

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