Buried in his box, Paul is having a bad time. He has a lighter and a phone and not much leg room. This is such a simple, powerful idea that I'm surprised it hasn't been done before. Setting a film inside an underground coffin, and watching somebody trying to get out. It's high concept stuff, and forces the director to be particularly creative with angles and lighting. There's the small flame of the lighter, the blue glare of the phone screen. Sometimes it's just dark. And Ryan Reynolds does a good job of convincing us that, yes, this really is very unpleasant. He negotiates with people on the phone, who put him on hold and hang up on him for being rude. All the time running out of oxygen and battery life. It's a film that asks how tension can be maintained in the space of a box, how many ideas there can be in a few yards of wood. At one point there's a snake in there, so that's good. The rest is cramped, frantic, suffocating blindness. It doesn't pull any punches. This character really is being buried alive. And it's not a short film. It keeps going and going and he's still not made it out - a sort of real-time nightmare. There's a surprising political edge to it too. Paul is a truck driver, ambushed in Iraq and being held for ransom. He wonders if anyone really cares about finding him, and argues with his captors about the war and the nature of terrorism. Which isn't really helping his situation, but he does it anyway.
Buried is an interesting film experiment, and it works. It works so well that it all comes down to this: only watch it if you want to feel quite upset afterwards. The script is expertly cruel. Films don't usually want to torment you this much. You'll hate the sight of the filmmakers. They are not to be trusted. It's all their fault, after all. They were very mean to this character, and if they weren't so good at it I'd stay angry.