November 6, 2009

What's Inside 'The Box'?

If you push the button two things will happen. You will get $1 Million and someone you don't know will die. What will you do?

That's the premise of the new
film The Box starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella. In 1976 a couple in Virginia receive a strange box with a button inside. A mysterious man gives them a choice to push it and reap the consequences or don't push it and he'll make the offer to someone else. The down-on-their-luck couple decides to push the button an unravels a string of psychological tests and repercussions.

I saw the film this week with a coworker who didn't like it at all, but I totally did. The movie is basically a two-hour episode of the Twilight Zone. Think of it as a kind of sci-fi thriller with some moral dilemmas thrown in for good measure. There were a lot of "oooooh, suspense!" moments and a few startles that made me jump in my seat. The premise was smart and there were so many "what would you do?" scenarios that made for good conversation afterward.

I do think the film could have been tightened up a little bit. There was a big slump in the middle that seemed unnecessary, but overall I thought it was fun and exciting. I didn't mind Diaz or Marsden -- although both of them could have been replaced with lesser-known actors and it still would have been a good movie. Langella was great as the disfigured, creepy businessman and his stoic and unshakable demeanor made for the perfect balance of trust and fear.

Check out the trailer of The Box and see if you like it...

If you like a good thriller then you will probably like The Box. Let me suggest you go see it early and go to a meal or drinks after so you can talk about it. Would your friends push the button? The answers could be interesting.