Movie #250 2020: Buried (2010)

So this is it. My 250th ‘first watch’ movie of 2020. You may already know that I originally aimed for 100 movies this year, and then I upped my target to 200… And then I upped it again to 250. Well, it’s still only August and here we are. Upon re-assessment, it’s becoming increasingly clear that setting a numerical target is bloody pointless, so I’m just going to continue watching new films and the final figure will simply be a surprise. How exciting!

Anyway, on to movie #250!

Buried is the 2010 claustrophobic thriller movie starring Ryan Reynolds and only Ryan Reynolds. Whilst his character speaks to other people over the phone, the only face you’ll see throughout this entire film is his. Quite remarkably, the entire movie is set in one coffin-sized box, in which our protagonist has been unknowingly buried in as the movie opens. With nothing much other than a lighter and a rapidly dying cell phone, it’s his sole mission to figure out where he is, who put him there, and how to get the hell out of this situation. As voyeurs to the whole skin-crawling affair, we are privy to seeing exactly what goes on in the box and by the end, we learn exactly what happens to our guy.

You know what? I much prefer Ryan Reynolds in serious roles. And I know he’s living his best life doing all that jaunty comedy shit but he should go back to this sort of thing. Sure, Deadpool was a huge success and it was entertaining enough, but Reynolds is truly suited to this calibre of role, even if his real personality is more of the fun-loving, comedy type. An added bonus? He’s way less annoying as a human being when he’s taking on something like this.

Buried is so impressively shot for a film that takes place in a singular tiny underground cell. Whilst sometimes the camerawork is a little questionable (the super fast zoom-ins often felt cartoonish), but other than that this is really well framed. It’s no easy ask to keep a single location movie interesting, especially when it comes at you in a room that’s seven feet by two feet in area, but the director (Rodrigo Cortés) clearly understands that some variance in cinematography is going to be needed here to maintain interest. Is this the most thrilling movie ever? No. A very gripping effort artistically? Absolutely. 

Scripting is super important for a movie with such physical constraints as this one, and for the majority of the film, it’s impossible not to want to pay attention. Most surprising was the ending, which is so abrupt and something I’ve genuinely not seen in any other movie. Though I foretold what would happen at the conclusion, the Mark White plot twist was one thing I didn’t see coming. I won’t go into any further detail on that, as it would completely spoil the whole movie, but that part alone is worth the watch.

Though I can’t imagine I’ll be recommending Buried any time in the near future, it is very well done for what it is. I was exhausted when I watched this, so I kept falling asleep. However, I was intrigued enough to keep jolting myself awake. Testament to how interesting the director and script writer managed to make a single location movie.

And don’t take my snoozing as a sign that this was a bad movie – it is completely worth a viewing.

Buried is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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