Movie Details

The BOX

A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, where they become instantly wealthy upon opening it. Little do they realise that opening the box also kills someone they do not know.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 28 Jan 2010
Genre: Thriller / Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, Michael Zegen
Director: Richard Kelly
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Syahida Kamarudin

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Watch this if you liked: "Kovak Box", "12 In A Box", Yukihimo Tsutsumi’s "20-seiki Shonen"

The issue with a film adaptation of short stories remains the same - will the director be clever enough to lengthen the short story into a one and a half hour long screenplay without changing its essence or destroying its appeal? We have seen films like Johnny Depp's "Secret Window" and John Cusack's "1408" crumbled under this situation. "The Box" on the other hand is an adaptation of Richard Matheson's short story "Button, Button", and was once adapted as one of the episodes of the popular TV show ,"Twilight Zone".

The answer is yes, and no. Richard Kelly is clever enough to arrange each and every scene in such an order that it plays with audiences' anticipation. Clever enough to make us wonder what, why and how of the whole ordeal. Clever enough to install background scores that remind you of horror movies in the 70s. Clever enough to combine straight up science fiction and fantastical horror, staying true to the quote of Arthur C. Clarke - that is also mentioned in the movie. Clever enough to stay true to its 70s flavour - where the subject of space expeditions in the midst of the Cold War was at its height.

Yet as it progresses, you will start to question certain things. There are some scenes where it looks like something is missing, leaving questions unanswered in order to put an element of mystery to it. But that would be just your own opinion to make you feel like it's a complete film, so that you won't be lying in your bed at night and wondering "Why?"

The choice of pairing up Cameron Diaz and James Marsden is a bit awkward. The leggy actress looks -of course - taller and older with all the 70s style make up, while Marsden will not convince you of being a NASA staff and astronaut-wannabe. And both would not convince anybody of having a tween kid named Walter. You will see James Rebhorn playing his usual WASP-y character (this time a NASA official), and other forgettable characters. But the highlight of the movie would be Frank Langella, fresh from his "Frost/Nixon" gig, playing a gentleman called Arlington Steward who has the looks that comes across as a milder version of Aaron Eckhart's Two-Face and Freddy Krueger.

In short, this is a film for those who likes - what else - but creepy Twilight Zone-ish stories.

Cinema Online, 12 November 2009
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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