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Reviewed by: Paul Doro
3 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Andrina Maness as Amy
Keir O'Donnell as Tucker
Jason Lewis as Aaron
Kai Porter as Gina
Casey Fuller as Craig
David Alford as Cutter

Directed by: Robert Lynn


Deadbox has an intriguing though pointless gimmick in its employ. It claims to have been shot in one continuous 105-minute take, the longest in cinema history (a little editing was done to bring it down to about 85 minutes). This adds a whole lot of nothing to the story and overall quality of the film though. It feels like a conscious effort to try and swindle people into watching an otherwise unremarkable piece of work. For good measure, the "inspired by actual events" line is tossed in there. Nowadays that essentially means "none of this is in any way true, but the marketing department loved the idea."

The setup is nothing unique but it could have worked with a better script and a general notion of effectively building tension. Five paintball players are on their way to a tournament in California. They stop at abandoned buildings along the way for team-building exercises. Their leader believes they "suck" and lack "synergy." Unfortunately they select the wrong building this time. A paranoid schizophrenic veteran resides in the abandoned prison and he believes they are a team of assassins.

For a solid 25 minutes, nothing of interest happens. Watching people play paintball is not entertaining at all, and viewers are subjected to too much of it. Run, hide, shoot. Run, hide, shoot. It gets dull in a hurry. Then, as they pack their gear before heading to the aforementioned prison, we are forced to listen to a rambling and inane conversation between the insufferable Tucker (Keir O'Donnell) and his friend Aaron (Jason Lewis). They talk about nothing and every other word is "dude," "man" or "bro." These guys are morons and having to listen to their blather is a form of torture.

Mercifully, the crazy vet shows up and rudely interrupts the team's training. Frantically searching for a transmitter he believes is buried under someone's skin, he picks them off one at a time. Sadly, this potentially interesting bad guy is wasted. He gets very little screen time after showing up late in the game and makes no impact as a character. He mumbles a little, shouts some, and then disappears for a while. Setting this all in broad daylight doesn't help and the abandoned prison isn't creepy or foreboding, just a little rundown.

When it gets serious, Deadbox has a tendency to become unintentionally funny. Case in point: a five-minute scene featuring one character comforting another who is dying. It just goes on and on and on well past the point of reason. Plus, people do incredibly stupid things that are difficult to overlook. Near the end someone stumbles upon a pair of glass doors. Of course they are locked. However, the killer is nowhere near and this individual has a large paintball gun (not to mention all the stuff sitting around nearby). Do they even attempt to break the glass and run? Of course not. That would make too much sense.

I wish I had something nice to say about Deadbox. I take no joy in trashing low-budget horror that people worked very hard on. The simple fact is it's not a good movie. More time should have been spent on shaping up the script rather than getting wrapped up in doing it all in one take. Talk about a useless exercise.

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