Archive for the Thriller Category

Screened In Sundays: Hard Candy

Posted in Screened In Sundays, Thriller with tags , , , , on July 15, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

I’m a huge fan of films that take place almost entirely in one location. It raises the tension level and (usually) makes for a pretty damn exciting film. Hard Candy is mainly known for Ellen Page’s breakout performance, but the film itself is a nearly perfect thriller.

Ellen Page plays a young teenage girl who meets an older man (Patrick Wilson) on the Internet. They meet at a coffee shop and things quickly get awkward and creepy for the viewer. How far is the movie going to go? Surely, they won’t show anything! Well, the film does show something, but just not what you were expecting.

There’s a major plot twist that occurs about 20 minutes into the film that greatly changes the course of the story. Saying anything about it would be spoilerific. Seeing these two actors, particularly Page, going mano-a-mano in a cat and mouse game is both a joy and burden to watch. You may not have everything figured once the credits roll, but you will definitely have something to talk about.


Screened In Sundays: Buried

Posted in Screened In Sundays, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by judsonw

1 underseen gem every Sunday.

Remember that amazing scene in Kill Bill Volume 2 when Uma Thurman gets buried alive? The scene is incredibly tense, claustrophobic, and terrifying. Well, imagine that for 80 minutes.

Yes, this Ryan Reynolds vehicle takes place entirely in a coffin. No outside shots AT ALL. In fact, besides a few voices on a cell phone, Reynolds is the only person to appear (physically or vocally) on screen throughout the film.

Reynolds plays a U.S. truck driver who is working in Iraq. After he is attacked, he awakes to find himself buried alive underground in a coffin. Equipped with only a lighter and a cell phone (that somehow manages to get a signal), he must find out what’s going on before his oxygen runs out.

I love ambitious films like Buried. The plot itself is a risk, and there are so many camera shots that make you double take and wonder how it was pulled off. I usually find Reynolds extremely grating in movies, but he’s actually easy to root for here. And I’ll be a man enough to admit that I shed a tear or two at the climax of the story.