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Buried is So Good, I Want to Be Buried with It

by Mindy Monez September 24, 2010 6:00 am
<i>Buried</i> is So Good, I Want to Be Buried with It

Taking a relatively simple concept like a movie about a guy in a coffin and turning it into something truly special is no easy feat. From the outside, it sounds tedious, boring and like something I've already seen a million times in Kill Bill 2, Bones, CSI, Alias and a whole host of other movies and shows. But somehow, through a combination of a great script, brilliant directing, tight editing and good acting, Buried is honestly one of the best thrillers I've ever seen.

At the start of the movie, Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up in a coffin with a lighter and a cell phone. He soon realizes he's been kidnapped and starts calling everyone he can think of -- the State Department, his boss, his wife, the FBI, his own kidnappers -- for help. No one is terribly helpful, and things go from bad to worse quickly.

What's amazing about Buried is how much action occurs within its confines. The entire movie takes place in the coffin -- there are no flashbacks, no cuts to the people on the other end of his phone calls -- yet it's so well-done that you're constantly drawn in and entertained, your imagination fully occupied with filling in what the movie only lets you hear. And since you never leave Paul, you feel the full weight of his frustration, hopelessness and desperation. It's really quite an experience.

Some critics are complaining about the movie's attempts to be topical (I can't really discuss that much without getting spoilery), but I strongly disagree -- almost all of that worked. Those elements were effectively scary and at least based in reality, and it was way better than Paul's burial being the work of the mob or some crazed serial killer who has nothing to do with anything or something else stupid. I could at least understand these people's motivations on a personal level. And though there are a few attempts to mislead that I think were a little hokey in retrospect, in the moment they freaked me out, so I guess they half-worked.

If you're worried about the claustrophobic element, I'd say that if you have a very serious problem with it, I'd skip it. A few reviewers around me at my screening were noticeably having trouble with it, but if you have a medium-to-low claustrophobia issue, the movie's a Hitchcockian-esque work of pants-wetting suspense, and it's fricking glorious. And at any rate, you owe it to yourself to see something that isn't just an unabashed clone of something you've already seen, which is what 90% of thrillers are.

Did you see Buried? Did you like it? Tell us! Then see our list of the most claustrophobic movies ever.

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