Newest Review: ... the box. Arthur is rather sceptical regarding both the $1m and the warning that someone will die if they do press the button, but at the ... more
Intriguing far fetched sci-fi-esque fare
The Box (DVD)
Member Name: IzzyS
The Box (DVD)
Date: 11/09/11, updated on 11/09/11 (46 review reads)
Advantages: Intriguing/somewhat engrossing, chilling in parts, pretty original
Disadvantages: Confusing ending, somewhat hard to follow entirely, won't appeal to everyone
The Lewises' are a young couple with a son who are struggling to make ends meet - Arthur works for Nasa and Norma works as a teacher and suffers from a disfigured foot. One day, a small wooden box is left in an unmarked box on their doorstep. Once opened, bad things start to happen and a disturbing man with a disfigured face appears at the door while Arthur is out and explains to Norma that he left the wooden box for her and opens it, explaining that she now has two options - press the button thats contained in the box, which, he claims, will lead to someone in the world dying - if she does he'll come back and hand her a case filled with $1 million, or, alternatively, don't press the button and hand the box back to him after 24 hours, in which case she'll be given $100 anyway. She can't tell the police but she can talk to her husband about it. Given things have become so dire for the family financially, they have to take this strange offer seriously but what will the consequences be if they do press the button? and what if their consciences get the better of them and they try to contact the authorities about this peculiar, disfigured man? is it really possible that by pressing some seemingly harmless little button in a small wooden box, someone would die? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- Thoughts/Opinions -
This is quite an intriguing movie, which has a real 'b movie' feel to it, certainly as far as the story is concerned, in my opinion. You can tell that its set in the 1970s given the cheap and gaudy wallpaper in the Lewis' home (sorry, I just couldn't NOT mention that - its somewhat horrifying enough in itself) which I felt added to the quirkiness of it. This is a mystery thriller and not really a horror movie, so yup in my humble opinion this is another movie which has been wrongly classified by sites such as Ciao and others - to me this has much more of a creepy, unsettling mystery feel to it than being an all out visual based horror movie.
Having said that, I wouldn't recommend this movie to people with a particularly nervous disposition - I found the story really quite unsettling in a way, despite the fact that it is obviously very far fetched - the way that its made is I suppose quite good, in that you do, somewhat begrudgingly at first, go along with it. Its quite a slow burner as well, in that, of course, you share the questions and concerns of Norma, wondering who the mysterious man who seemed to have lost half of his face really was and whether there can be any shred of truth in the claim that by pressing the seemingly harmless button, it would lead to somebodies death. Given the story, this is definitely not one for sceptics, as you very much have to allow yourself to go along with the story and as the movie continues, as we get some clues as to what its all about, it really does become more and more, shall I say, out of the ordinary, to the extent that some people would likely laugh at it and the word tosh might even come to mind!.
Due to that, I would point out that this is, to me, quite a sci-fi centered/based movie, given what we learn and what happens storywise in the movie, it does become very much science fiction based, so if you don't have any interest or even laugh at sci-fi based movies then I would recommend that you stay clear of this movie. Does this mean that ultimately the movie is some cheap b movie sci-fi nonsense that should be avoided at all costs? well I think it would be unfair to say that overall, I'll admit that even though the story wasn't what I expected, it certainly wasn't a casualty of the usual 'very slight twist on a very tired old formula' faux pas, at least as far as I was concerned, though there may well be a number of similar 'b movie' type films, to me, this was a story that I'd never seen and so I found it rather gripping and intriguing to watch the story unravel and find out what it was all about. Basically things take a turn for the more bizarre and as the movie continues, or as the story unravels I think is a more accurate term, things become more complicated and I found I struggled a bit to keep up with what was happening and what the ultimate big picture was - this is a movie that requires you to concentrate quite well and in a sense your playing an amateur detective/sleuth, trying to piece everything together.
I can honestly say that I found by roughly about three quarters of the way into the movie, as the storyline pace heightened and we realised what was going on and what was at stake, I became quite engrossed in it and was just about, as the catch phrase goes 'on the edge of my seat' (or, more truthfully, my bed lol) watching, waiting to find out what would happen to the Lewis' poor son and which option Norma and Arthur would choose (yes the movie pretty much ends with another choice of two, this time much bleaker, options).
This movie is quite bleak, pretty dark and depressing and its one that could well particularly strike a chord with mothers, who may find the story quite unsettling, upsetting even if your of a paranoid/sensitive disposition. The only really scary aspects of it are in the concepts behind the movie, not what you seen on screen as such, its more of a talking piece I suppose.
Ultimately I was rather disappointed with the way that the movie wrapped up - I was left with more questions than answers and I'd found trying to follow the story up to the end was quite hard going at points, the concepts it involves are quite complicated, so its not easy - so I was a bit let down by the way it ended - however, I wouldn't say that I felt entirely cheated of the time I'd spent watching it either, I think its really a case of it being a slightly different to the bog standard mystery movie and for that, its ok.
- Would I Recommend It? -
I can't say that I didn't enjoy the movie in terms of it certainly being something different, to me anyway, though I can't deny that it isn't perfect either. This is a movie that you'll probably either find somewhat fascinating and that will pass the time and intrigue you or it'll be one that, about half way into it, you'll shake your head at and think what a load of old tosh to be quite frank. The ending was a bit of a disappointment - although I can't help but wonder if I'd managed to concentrate a bit more, maybe the answers to the questions I was left with after it had ended, had been there - I'm not entirely sure. Its certainly a movie thats rather engrossing, I found it quite intriguing although equally far fetched once things became a bit clearer in terms of what was going on. Ok so would I recommend it? well, this would depend on what interests you of course - if you like quirky movies and you like, or don't mind, sci-fi based movies then yes, I'd very much recommend this - if, however, you don't, then obviously stay clear of this.
I thought that the main performances given in this movie were quite good, although the movie has a b movie type feel to it, I wouldn't say that it doesn't have any appeal, its just, not quite what you might expect it to be, put it that way - cryptic I know, i'm not quite sure what else I can say, to be honest. I wouldn't recommend much be spent on this movie, unless your a die hard Cameron Diaz fan who doesn't have this movie in your collection in which case you'll likely want to add it, its not a title I'd really heard much about so people might not be aware of it but otherwise, I reckon its something thats worth a rent or catching on TV if you'd like to see something a little different but otherwise its not really worth going out of your way to see.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments, I appreciate them all. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
Summary: A sci-fi horror movie featuring Cameron Diaz with b movie feel