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Friday, November 6, 2009

The Box is destined to be a cult hit

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM

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In The Box, a married couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) are given a box with a large red button by a mysterious disfigured man (Frank Langella). Langella tells the couple that if they press the button, they will be given a million dollars. At the same time, someone “they don’t know” will die as a result. Set in 1976, The Box takes great pains to accurately reflect the era and its films, right down to its excellent retro orchestral score. The film is based on Richard Matheson’s short story “Button, Button,” which was a simple and elegant dark fantasy tale whose twist ending packed a wicked punch of social commentary. It’s a great story, but there’s not really enough there for a feature film. So for better or worse, writer-director Richard Kelly has expanded on and changed the source material considerably. Kelly’s adaptation is too long and piles on so much weirdness that it threatens to overwhelm the story at times. His ending also lacks the bite of Matheson’s original. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating and uncompromising film that will no doubt attract the same sort of cult following as Kelly’s Donnie Darko. ***

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