I've been sitting on this review because I wanted to read the original short story, "Button Button", first first. Alas, I couldn't find it online or on some Torrent site.
I went out a week ago Sunday night to see "The Box". Had I check the review a bit closer I might have realized it wasn't a big budget porn flick. Instead it's a feature length version of a story by Richard Matheson. Matheson's work is familiar to those of you who watch the original Twilight Zone. He wrote a lot of those stories. He also wrote the story that became "The Omega Man", "Last Man on Earth", and "I Am Legend". This particular story was used in the 1980's version of "The Twilight Zone".
The basic story that all adaptations have built from involves a box with a button.
A man shows up at a family's doorstep with an offer - push the button and receive a large sum of money. We've all seen that banner ad. But, if you push the button "someone you don't know" will die. You have 24 hours to decide and then he'll be back for the box. When the man comes back for the button he says that it will be reset and given to another family. "Someone you don't know." The implication being that by pressing the button you've just killed the last person who pressed the button and that the next person who presses it will kill you.
It's a nice story well suited for half hour "Twilight Zone" or "X Minus One" type shows. Rather than try to drag that story to triple what it deserves the movie expands on that idea. The husband starts to investigate the man with the box. Strange people start following him and his wife. We learn about how the man came by the box, a bit about who he's working for (still left open to interpretation), and the vast organization that's working all this.
They did a good job on the movie. It's much better than the 1983 "Twilight Zone" version. In the old version you're rather glad that the wife is gonna die.
I liked it and would recommend it, but I doubt I'll be getting it on DVD. However, I may buy the book of short stories that has the original.
Reposted from Friday Links a few weeks back. It's the old Twilight Zone episode.