Buried, the new Ryan Reynolds movie, is showing over at the Cielo Vista Mall 14. Perhaps it’s not necessary to be a fan of the actor to enjoy the movie, but Buried is pretty much a one man Ryan Reynolds show. On top of that, the whole motion picture takes place in a coffin. So, expect to get to intimate with Ryan Reynolds for 90 minutes as he acts his way through all the emotions that a person might experience after being buried alive. Unlike Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Reynolds is not capable of punching his way to freedom. So be prepared for a long, claustrophobic trip into desperation.
Ryan Reynolds plays a truck driver working as a contractor in Iraq whose convoy was ambushed. His attackers buried him alive as a means of forcing him to persuade the United States to pay a hefty ransom for his return. With the cell phone placed in the coffin, he frantically calls government agencies, his employer and family members in hopes of finding someone who can help him. Along with having to slog through bureaucracy, he also must deal with a dwindling air supply, a snake, and sand slowly filling up his wooden prison. Even his captors become increasingly demanding and threatening as the ordeal continues on.
While Buried is classified more as a thriller, it’s really about watching Reynolds endure the psychological torture inherent in this sort of predicament. According to this article on common phobias, taphephobia, the fear of being buried alive, isn’t even in the top twenty (though, claustrophobia does get a mention). While nowadays the chances of being buried alive by accident are highly unlikely, being buried alive on purpose is still a disturbing thought. At least Reynolds does have a cell phone and a light source in the movie, which is better than nothing.
Anyway, Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés has made mostly short films (such as Los 150 metros de Callao, Dentro, and Dirt Devil). Considering how restrictive the setting of Buried is, he manages to keep things interesting with the constant building of tension. Reynolds does his part, of course, by pulling off a sympathetic portrayal of a man in an horrific situation. Still, it’s hard to imagine Buried being a movie most people would want to watch more than once. After the surprises are revealed, the grim nature of the story and confined location doesn’t offer a lot of replay value. It should make for a suspenseful, grueling evening at the theater, though, if you’re interested in a movie that focuses strongly on emotional and psychological horror. (A movie you might also want to check out is the 1988 Dutch film The Vanishing. While it is different than Buried in many ways, you will likely find some similarities worth pondering. DO NOT watch the 1993 remake, though, without seeing the 1988 version first. The original is far more haunting and disturbing.)