The Double Feature: Versus crew takes a look at THE BOX (2009)
A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don’t know.
Richard Kelly’s The Box (2009) is a strange one for sure. Not “Southland Tales” strange nor is it as indelible as Kelly’s impressive debut “Donnie Darko”. It lies somewhere in the middle – not strange enough to be exiled like “Tales” nor memorable enough to be exalted like “Darko”. The first half is not nearly as strong as its second half: what begins as stilted dialogue and B-movie like performances transcends into something stronger and weirder as the plot thickens, aliens appear and water-like portals take over. Kelly is a filmmaker I’ve always rooted for like I have Shyamalan (the director on the side of the ring with “Knock at the Cabin”). One has more studio backing than the other (and more classics under his belt) but both filmmakers are fearless and unique in their imagination. Kelly’s vision may not be for everyone but it definitely belongs in the universe of cinema. The Box is an interesting experience, a film that swings for the fences, throws everything at its wall and see what sticks before its credits roll. It makes for a mess but an interesting mess.
3 out of 5
The Box released in 2009 by director Richard Kelly is a great idea that falters with its narrative. Following the delivery of a box by a mysterious man with the choice to push the button in order to get $1 million cash, but by doing so someone they do not know somewhere on the planet will die. It brings up a great psychological predicament where in the person could fix a lot of problems in their life, but in doing so would take someone’s life away from them. That premise alone is already filled with possibilities for the psychological torment the receivers of the button would undergo, but The Box takes things up a notch by adding a paranormal approach to what is going on as well. Which at its best the plot can be interesting, but at its worst parts are filled with cliché and confusion. It has a goal and at times the goal seems muddied by all the extra elements it tries to incorporate into the movie in order to fill the almost 2 hour runtime. Overall it has a very slow start that does ramp up toward the second half of the movie, just not enough to save it in its entirety.
2.5 out of 5
Double Feature: Versus Podcast
Check out the full thoughts on THE BOX as well as KNOCK AT THE CABIN by Blak Cinephile and Brad Woessner on the latest episode available to listen to now!
Double Feature VS is a podcast series in which two friends Anthony and Brad step in front of the mic and clash heads, come together, break up, and come together again on the subject of two competing films on each episode. Directorial debut vs Sophomore slump (or success), critically acclaimed vs fan-favorite, original vs sequel, blond vs ginger, ebony vs melanin, etc. The possibilities? Endless. The arguments? Futile. The debates? Epic (also humorous). The combination of audio material, written film reviews and video commentaries (all found on doublefeaturevs.com) are all part of what makes this a great new series for cinephiles, moviegoers, movie lovers and everybody in-between.