Nixon's got a big red button, and he wants you to press it! - Richard Kelly's THE BOX trailer!

When Richard Nixon with a half torn off face comes to your door, asking if you received a package with a device that's got a red button on it that will cause death to someone unknown to you in return for a $1 million dollars reward, would you press it, or tell him to find someone else to do his dirty work? the-box-langella That's the premise behind Richard Kelly's (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) first attempt at a mainstream audience winner with The Box, an adaptation of Richard Matheson's short story "Button Button", previously an 80's Twilight Show episode and now a major motion picture starring James Marsden and Cameron Diaz. thebox_marsden_diaz-thumb-500x270-15841 On first viewing of the newly released trailer, I gotta say I'm hooked. I've always loved this concept, in a way it reminds me of a much more heightened and scary human experiment version of Deal or No Deal where you are really testing people's apparent necessity for money and how that builds and builds into their absolute greed as the stakes get higher and higher. I like that Marsden and Diaz are beyond desperation for money to keep the roof on their heads, I like the narrative jump that he loses his job... but I can't help but feel that the premise would be stronger if it was say a year's wage they would receive from pressing the button, money that would run out a lot quicker forcing them into a position where eventually they have to decide whether they will have to push the button once more. When they are so short of cash, a year's wage is still tempting enough I'd say. (or does that just show how bad a person I am?). I would have gone for a longer time span too, a movie that shows the guilt that weighs them down, that forces them to separate and the years they try not to press the button and keep it hidden away but it keeps being their thorn in their side, an easy way out of the bad times. I also would have upped the stakes by making it NOT someone unknown to you that dies but ALWAYS someone who is known to you, whether it's an old friend from school or a neighbour. I guess what I'm describing is a more of a drama and this is definitely a creepy Roman Polanski 70's esque thriller and despite the questioning of the two leads... I'm very hopeful for this one. Just I have no idea how a Santa Claus fits into this or what on Earth is going on in the final 2/3rd's but I'm very intrigued.

Warner Bros. release The Box on Oct. 30th (U.S.) and Dec. 4th (U.K.)
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.