August 7, 2011

The world ended a long time ago


Richard Kelly's The Box (2009). Paralysing dread in its first hour, then Kelly loosens his grip on the story, letting everything else in: metaphysical speculation, death experiences, Close Encounters cultists, government-Nasa conspiracies. A Twilight Zone plotline -- the idea, initially, is from Richard Matheson's story "Button, Button" -- is inflated with Kelly's own memories of growing up in 70s Nasa-worker suburbia, perhaps with his actual terror from that far back. Apocalypticism without the camp of Kelly's Southland Tales but also without the humour of Donnie Darko.