Tuesday, February 24

Buried Alive (1990)

Directed by Frank Darabont
93 Minutes / Universal/MCA Video / Unmatted Full Frame

A contractor (Tim Matheson) has recently moved from New York City with his wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) back home to the country. Being displeased with his decisions and yearning for a skyjet lifestyle, she along with her on-the-side boyfriend (William Atherton) devise a plan calling for murder by poisoning. Apprehensively, she agrees and carries out the horrid deed. After a quick burial, the woman quickly tries to expunge herself from her thought deceased husband's business and home, but he awakens six feet under and climbs back into existence in search of revenge...

Excellent little made-for-TV chiller that wisely keeps everything focused and concise. The film is comprised of many little twists to the unfolding mystery which keeps the viewer wanting to watch; instead of just one big blowout at the conclusion. The small cast all do a fantastic job, especially Leigh who is a perfect stone-hearted bitch. Matheson is surprising as he gradually switches from a likable everyman to a likeable yet seething-with-rage everyman. Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) obviously had budgetary and time restrictions to work in, but his verve for perfectly framing an actor's bust is quite evident here. Special note to Jacques Haitkin's cinematography and Michel Colombier's moody score as well. Universal unquestionably needs to release this one onto DVD.

Film: 8/10
VHS Picture: 8/10
VHS Sound: 7/10

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