Trailer For The Box Online

Richard Kelly returns to coherence

Richard Kelly Makes Straight Thriller Shock! The Box, adapted from a short story by Richard Matheson (I** Am Legend, Duel) stars James Marsden and Cameron Diaz. Check out the super-tense new trailer here. Isn't that the theme from Saw**?

The writer-director of the awesome-as-it's-supposed-to-be Donnie Darko, and the what-the-hell-is-it-supposed-to-be Southland Tales (he also wrote the screenplay for Domino) has clearly had a career re-think following Southland's production problems and box office disappearance. If this trailer is anything to go by, the self-indulgence has been truly reigned in, leaving something leaner and more focused in its place.

Which is not to say it doesn't look as if there are some nicely bizarro touches in there. We like the Father Christmas / train wreck snippet particularly, although we're less convinced by the CGI splodge on Frank Langella's face.

The story was adapted once before, in 1986, as a Twilight Zone episode. The movie's angle seems to be a melding of Indecent Proposal and The Game: normal life unravelling following the offer of a million dollars, no questions asked, if you push a button that kills a stranger (it was $50k in the story: that's inflation for you). It also feels - in a good way - a little like the premise from Brian Azarello's 100 Bullets comics, although obviously Matheson's story pre-dates them by 30 years.

So do we welcome Kelly to mainstream Hollywood, or do we lament the fact that, for the time being, his crazy indie pics are on hold? One thing's certain: this ought to be better than s.Darko...