Civilian trucker Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is ambushed and taken hostage while working as a contractor in Iraq. He is buried alive, with a phone and some supplies, and must do as his captors bid him if he is to survive.
Filmed entirely within the confines of a coffin, Buried is a claustrophobic piece, but due to an inventive mix of camera techniques, boredom is kept at bay. Seven different coffins were used and it was shot in only 17 days, which could account for keeping costs at the $3 million mark.
Reynolds does a stellar job considering the pressures that must come with what is essentially a solo role (voice roles not included): at moments you can feel the paranoia, begging the question “Is this real?”, at times the frustration at the bureaucracy encountered over the phone, at other times the tension from constantly assessing the situation, your mind running at a thousand miles per hour, thinking “What would I do to get out of that box?”; all in all an impressive acting feat.
The screenplay for Buried was written by newcomer Chris Sparling who, sick of scripts being rejected for location costs, decided to write something ultra resource friendly; one star, one place, plenty of clever ideas. It will be interesting to see what he has to offer in the future.
Well worth watching: 4 out of 5.