Film Review: Buried Alive (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

When five of their fellow students disappear, Melanie (Brit Morgan) and her brother, Travis (Jeff Blum), investigate in this spine-tingling digital miniseries. Racing against time to rescue the victims — who have been buried alive — the siblings turn to the Internet for help. But will the Web posts, found footage and online diaries they use help them trace the psychotic kidnapper in time to rescue his victims?

REVIEW:

I won’t go into my take on cinema verite in “yet” another film on the market. That would be too easy. Although, somewhere after the Blair Witch craze, film-makers started to get lax in cinematic toning and just shot a crap load of films in old school video recorder style. As of late that has to become “not” so hip anymore. And at some point, shaking your camera around like your running has to fall back and give way to movie camera stabilization again. This may not be the case today, but there is still hope. On with the show.

Buried is a horror film offering from the folks at Fearnet.com. The bar is raised pretty high whenever a horror site takes on there own film, not to mention alot to live up to. Maybe not so much the website owners as some home-growns over there in the corporate-managed jungle. That may be the men behind the curtains, but lets get to the film itself.

We start with some random attacks on young adults which all end in some form of coffin-like containment. This goes on for quite a bit , before flashbacks of the film “Captivity” started to set in. It becomes apparent through back-recording that the ol gang are kind of a bunch of pricks. Also they have not been so nice to some of there past acquaintances including local ex-friend Tommy. Vengeance is always served up cold and this round its done per way of claustrophobic custom-made caskets. The caskets are actually hand made equipped with cameras and personall elements specific to each individual. The horror of this film, is their experience as they await certain deaths. To give viewers some basis, we are exposed to a variety of web cams, recordings and video tapings that occurred leading up to these events. This is carried forward as one of the friends has a “need” to document her search for her missing buds. Why? – well that would be …I’m not so sure.

All fingers point to there ol friend Tommy, mostly out of guilty consciousness, though a few more surprises are in store for them. The film actually is quite compelling, if not entirely original. In listening to the directors commentary, the terms were that each shot must be justified and be limited to just the tools that would make sense to the situation. So we find that even though they filmed in HD, the shots had to be digressed to demonstrate the correct technology looks.

I know the title makes sense with the plot of the story, however how many films need to be named Buried Alive until someone takes a chance on another title name? You would think for marketing purposes they would go with something less common…??

Buried lacks scares but make up for it in mental breakdowns of the characters. In a sense, it’s a revenge film in basic form. The back story helps to move from the monotony of seeing coffin camera angles so we can rejoin the kids in there suffering modes. Not a bad first release from the Fearnet team. I didn’t know this till later, but this film was a online webs site test dictated from the uppers at Sony to draw more audience to there Sony products. Whether it worked or not, they cut a DVD out of the result for all to see. I’m not much for webisodes, so if not for the DVD I wouldn’t have bothered. Take it or leave it, its an ok film. With the powers that be and the budgets that be I’d rather see more effort from Sony to put energy into some original ideas and think more “beyond the box (pun intended)

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