Tuesday, November 10, 2009

all you have to do is push the button.

After eagerly awaiting the release of Richard Kelly's new film, The Box (2009), for a few months now, I was totally disapointed and bummed that it was not good.  In fact, it was terrible.  Seriouly, do not waste your time or money on this one.  Now the premise of the film was quite promising.  It's about a married couple who finds a wooden box on their door step.  Soon after receiving the mysterious box, they learn that if they press the button inside they will receive $1 million.  Only one catch: pushing the button also means that someone they don't know will die.  Not only did the story sound interesting (at least to me) but it also had some good actors including Frank Langella, James Marsden, and Cameron Diaz.

So the film began and seemed like it was going to be good.  But after about 25 minutes it took a turn for the worst and just seemed to go down hill (rapidly).  The story was a mess - confusing, cheesy, and pointless.  Apparently it was based on a Twilight Zone episode by the same name, which was based on a short story.  Now I have not seen this episode (or read the story), but there is pretty much a 100% guarantee that both are better than this film.

The Box currently has a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes (I wouldn't be surprised if this percent continues to decrease).  Peter Travers from Rolling Stone called the film "damaged goods" and Lou Lumenick of the New York Post stated that "After a promising start, this great-looking but ultimately deeply confusing and unscary sci-fi/horror opus turns into a quite boring rehash of M. Night Shyamalan's   post-signs films."  I agree with both these critics.  It was actually a really frustrating film because it was so confusing.  There seemed to be some sort of spiritual/religious metaphor going on and perhaps reference to Adam and Eve... with the whole woman not being able to resist temptation theme.  I don't know.  The message, like the rest of the movie, was unclear.

But, even though I clearly disliked this film, I still can't give up on director Richard Kelly.  Donnie Darko (2001) is still one of my favorite movies and any man who can create such cinematic genius-ness is allowed a flop (or two).

1 comment:

  1. When I first saw the commercial for "The Box", I immediately recognized the story as one I saw on an episode of "The Twilight Zone". I was wondering how they'd expand the story into a feature length movie without it seeming padded. It sounds as if they failed.