Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is experiencing the day from hell. A contractor delivering supplies in Iraq, he is kidnapped, stuck in a wooden box and buried alive by insurgents who demand money for his release. With air running out, Conroy has to use his mobile to try and direct authorities.

From its opening shot, when we join Paul in his claustrophobic surroundings, Buried holds you in a vice-like grip and never lets go. The action doesn’t leave the coffin so the audience can’t escape the sense of impending doom, something that’s made worse by a slithering presence.

Director Rodrigo Cortes gets maximum mileage out of the terrifying premise, stringing together a series of heartrending phone conversations which build up to a climax that knocks you sideways. Putting his body – and probably sanity – on the line, Reynolds is magnificent, packing in realistic panic attacks and gallows humour in a tour de force.

Every now and then the script hits a bum note – the anti-war message is a tad ham-fisted – but it doesn’t stop this from being one of the most inventive, unnerving thrillers you’ll see all year.


GOOD FOR: Those who don’t mind small spaces.

Watch the Buried trailer here.


Review: Pierre de Villiers