DEADBOX Review. [Paintball Horror in One Long Take?]


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Directed by Robert Archer Lynn, 2007
Written by David Alford, Robert Archer Lynn


To say that Peter and I have differing tastes in film is to say that Norman Rockwell painted slightly differently from Salvador Dali.  But since moving to Austin I have become fascinated with movie geek idiosyncrasies and relish the opportunity to explore new territory.  Sure, the majority of us turn up our noses at Syfy original films, but something about them tickle the fancy of Mr. Hall and I want to know what that is.  Similarly Peter enjoys direct-to-video horror films that no other human being on the planet will likely see (be it for for personal taste reasons or because the film is only stocked on the bargain racks of three Suncoast Videos in the greater Tunica, MS area).  But when Peter S. Hall, my editor and therefore kind of boss, asked me to review such a film, I did not let my reservations stand in the way of my enthusiasm.

The film I got was DEADBOX.  It is the story of a group of semi-pro paintball players traveling across the country to compete in the big tournament.  The leader of the group decides to make a pitstop when he sees an abandoned building off the highway.  What better place to practice their slightly sloppy short game than a rusted-out shell of prison?  Plus, there is the added bonus of breaking in their newest team member, Cutesy Von No-Business-Here.  Low and behold, things go awry when the only remaining tenant of the prison pops up and decides to kill them.  A shell-shocked veteran, he has a phobia about hidden transmitters that he’s convinced are lurking beneath the skin of anyone who comes near him.

The hook of this film, what the DVD’s box really tries to sell you on, is that it is “one continuous 105 minute take.”  That’s right, DEADBOX is being sold as the modern-day horror equivalent of Hitchcock’s ROPE.  Actually, this is boasting the “longest take in film history.”  I was impressed by the testicular fortitude of this DTV horror film as it apparently poised itself to take on any one-long-shot movie ever made!  I want you to remember this marketing device; keep it in your back pocket as I review this film.




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