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the-box-poster Movie:The Box
On DVD: Feb. 23, 2010
Director: Richard Kelly
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Film Gecko Rating: 2 Gecko

It’s fascinating to think that director Richard Kelly helmed both ‘Donnie Darko’ (a masterpiece) and ‘The Box’ (a mediocre thriller). Based on the trailer below, you’d think this movie would be intense and hypnotic. It is – sort of – but I was so put out by the weird images and things I was supposed to figure out but had no idea what they meant – that I couldn’t wrap my head around the movie. I watched it with my 12-year-old daughter, and we both looked at each other several times during the movie and said stuff like, “What?” and “Really?”

It follows a suburban couple, Norma and Arthur Lewis (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) who are struggling with life and finances, and one day find a package on their doorstep. Inside is a strange box with a large red button. Not long after, an odd looking guy (Frank Langella) arrives and explains things. If they press the button, they’ll receive a million bucks – and someone they don’t know will die.

From there, things get even stranger, and most of it makes no sense whatsoever. We’ve got nosebleeds, creepy people in libraries, boxes of water, a Santa ringing a bell in the middle of the street, and a warehouse full of light. There’s more, much more. I think we’re supposed to make some sort of connection to Heaven and Hell out of all of this, but I’m still not sure, and neither is my daughter.

You think it’s going to be wrapped up at the end, and we’ll get an explanation and everything will make sense. That doesn’t happen, and you’re left wondering why you spent two hours waiting for a big reveal. I feel like Simon Cowell giving some poor singer a bad review. Sorry. That’s all I got.

Image: Warner Bros.

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