OSW Review | The Box (2009)

The Box (2009)

Yes, for some reason the marketing department added the SAW theme to the end of this trailer.


 *Note: This review contains spoilers*

Cast: Written/directed by Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko), starring Cameron Diaz (Shrek Forever After) and James Marsden (Cyclops, X-Men).

Plot: A mid-30s couple with a son, is delivered a box with a button. Push the button, a stranger will die, and you’ll receive $1,000,000. Do you push it?

Thoughts on the film :
• Now, you can either have the washer and dryer where the lovely Smithers is standing, or you can trade it all in for what’s in this box. The box, the box!
• This film is based off a short story called “Button Button” by Richard Matheson in 1970. The story was used for a Twilight Zone episode in 1986 of the same name.
• The premise of the plot has me intrigued. Unfortunately they only spend a few scenes deliberating this moral quandary, and well, the story wouldn’t be any good if they didn’t push it and went on with their lives. So they do, and the story unfurls out in a parade of piece-it-together explanations, extra-terrestrial plot developments, some lame attempt at social commentary & finger-wagging, and you’re left with a rather unsatisfactory film that pitched something interesting but quickly ran in the other direction, involving pod people and other tripe.
• It’s set in the 70s, so there’s lots of set-dressing/nods of “hey this is the 70s”.
• Runs 1hr 55, far too long for a convoluted story that devolves into a boring sci-fi story. It’s a premise, far better as a short segment (ala Twilight Zone or Tom Pettit’s free 15-minute short film on Vimeo, which is far better than this film.)
• When out having a pint with OOC, I asked what he’d do with the Box. He immediately replied “can I press it twice and get 2 million?”. Never change, OOC.

Overall: The initial question is something to chat about over a drink (and spice it up by asking if you’d push it, if it was someone you met over the course of your life) but this film is a waste of time, and about half an hour too long, spiralling into wacky revelations. Avoid.

So I ask you:
1) Would you push the button for 1 million if it meant a stranger would die?

2) Would you push the button for 1 million if it meant someone you met during the course of your life would die? Could be some dude on the bus, could be a loved one.

Knowing me I’d’ve pressed the button within seconds to call them on their bullshit! Where’s the money!

Below is the Tom Pettit movie if you’re interested


Release Date
May 6, 2015