Sunday, November 7, 2010

Four Boxes (2009)

At a glance:
This low-budget film squeezes heaps of suspense and intrigue from live action combined with a voyeuristic website

Our review (with spoilers):
Trevor (Justin Kirk) is a privacy fence salesman during the week. His weekends are spent rummaging through stuff belonging to the recently dead. On this particular weekend, he and his partner Rob (Sam Rosen) rummage through a house that presents mysteries. There are scrawled notes from a depressed soul, intriguing collections of nuts and bolts, and weird line patterns that might be coded clues. Meanwhile, Rob is into this cool website called Four Boxes – four hidden camera views of an apartment that used to belong to a young, often nude girl, and that now seems to be populated by two very suspicious terrorist types. Rob hooks Trevor into watching too, and soon Trevor is starting to formulate his own theories about what is going on in Four Boxes. Meanwhile, complications ensue when Rob brings Amber (Terryn Westbrook) into the house. Amber used to go out with Trevor and the awkward factor ramps up when she is there, along with the sexual tension.

I won’t ruin anything with Four Boxes so that you can enjoy it as much as I did, but let me say that writer/director Wyatt McDill proves that he can make an effective thriller with little more than a one-house setting, a few clues, and a love triangle dynamic – and that’s impressive. The only drawback to such effective tension building is that it is almost impossible for the resolution to avoid being a letdown – and through some careful morality, this is just avoided here.

Rating:  2.75 of 4

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