Oxygen

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Thriller

Serious taphephobes will probably want to sit this one out, but thrill-seekers who don't suffer from a morbid fear of being buried alive might want take a look. On a bright Manhattan afternoon, wealthy Frances Hannon (Laila Robins) is kidnapped, driven to a remote location and buried alive in a oblong wooden box with a flashlight and just enough oxygen...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Serious taphephobes will probably want to sit this one out, but thrill-seekers who don't suffer from a morbid fear of being buried alive might want take a look. On a bright Manhattan afternoon, wealthy Frances Hannon (Laila Robins) is kidnapped, driven to a remote

location and buried alive in a oblong wooden box with a flashlight and just enough oxygen to last 24 hours. If she doesn't panic. Her kidnapper, Harry (Adrien Brody), sends her millionaire husband Clarke (James Naughton) a videotape detailing his wife's predicament and demands $1 million in

exchange for her location. Clarke goes straight to the police, and Captain Terry Kinney (Tim Kirkman) calls in ace Detective Foster (Maura Tierney). He catches her at a bad time: Foster — who also happens to be Kinney's wife — has a taste for booze and S&M, and she's on her way home from

a drunken evening spent with a guy who uses her arms as an ashtray. Foster pulls herself together and arranges a police ambush at the drop-off point, but once under arrest, Harry will only negotiate with the cop who busted him — the one with the burns on her arm. Harry senses Foster's dark

side, and the interrogation soon becomes a lurid game of quid pro quo. Aside from the jolting opening sequence, Richard Shepard's film owes entirely too much to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS to be in any way original. But some of it does work, thanks to an entertainingly perverse turn by Brody.

Cat-and-mouse thrillers are only as tolerable as the cat is engaging — mind games can easily become exasperating — but Brody brings a dangerous charisma to his portrayal of a clever sadist who's impervious to his own pain. His performance, and a hilarious, out-of-nowhere bit from Dylan

Baker (HAPPINESS) as a no-nonsense FBI agent, will catch your breath and hold your attention.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Serious taphephobes will probably want to sit this one out, but thrill-seekers who don't suffer from a morbid fear of being buried alive might want take a look. On a bright Manhattan afternoon, wealthy Frances Hannon (Laila Robins) is kidnapped, driven to… (more)

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