Buried is the most claustrophobic film I’ve ever seen. It’s almost unbearable at times, and judging by the squirms and noises coming from several people sitting around me in the cinema, I was not the only person who felt genuine pity for Ryan Reynolds: a kidnapped man trapped in a wooden coffin, 6 feet underground in the Iraqi desert, with nothing but a mobile phone and a zippo for company.
As painful as it is to watch, Buried is an excellently crafted film with a solid performance from its sole star. Reynolds nails the panic, anger and sadness his character experiences as he desperately tries to figure his horrific situation out. Considering the film is set entirely within the confines of a cramped wooden box, its surprisingly exciting and relentlessly tense, with the director implementing neat camera angles and clever use of lighting to keep the movie as varied as possible, and with the exception of the moments of total blackness (when Ryan turns his phone off/puts the zippo away, etc), you are completely there in the coffin with him. It’s very unnerving. This was emphasied even more seeing it at the cinema on such a vast screen, and I could see numerous people around me shifting uncomfortably in their seats. If you know you already want to see this movie, then I strongly recommend seeing it on the big screen.
It’s by no means perfect, and a few niggles for me included the fact that Ryan constantly has his lighter lit, thus burning away his precious oxygen, and I’m also quite dubious as to whether you’d get any signal at all for your mobile phone if you are buried underground, but I don’t really want to find out that one first hand. Nonetheless, I’m am inclined to ignore these gripes and its really not that hard because the film is so damn immersive at all other times. To describe anything else of the film would be to ruin the suspense and tension gained from watching it yourself, so I’ll not say any more. You probably already know if you want to see it or not.