10 Claustrophobic Facts About “Buried”

Hitchcockian is a term that gets thrown around any time a thriller manages to evoke the same suspense that the master of it did all those decades ago.  Of all the films that get labeled by this manufactured adjective, very few wind up being worthy of it.

Buried is one such film.  It’s really not easy to pull off 90 minutes in a single location, without any flashbacks or cutaways, but this movie manages to do it.  So in honor of its 10th anniversary today, we thought it would be fitting to look at 10 fun facts about Buried!

1. Director Rodrigo Cortés cited Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope as his prime inspiration. The whole film takes place in one room and was designed to look like one continuous shot.

2. The Hitchcock connection doesn’t stop there. The movie’s poster was heavily based on that of Vertigo.

The resemblance is pretty spot on!

3.  Buried was an entirely Spanish production, shot in a studio in Barcelona, and later distributed in the US by Lionsgate.

4. While using the lighter, Ryan Reynolds accidentally burned his arm for real.

5. The film was somewhat inspired by the real life case of Roy Hallums. He was an American contractor in Iraq who was kidnapped by insurgents and held for ransom.

Negotiations to release him fell flat, even when then Libyan president, Muammar Gaddafi got involved.  He was finally freed 10 months later when the farmhouse he was being kept in was raided by US Delta Force.

Hallums went on to write a book about his harrowing and inspiring experience of survival.

6. When the main character Conroy calls the State Department, he’s told that unfortunately they can’t pay the ransom because it is illegal to negotiate with terrorists. It’s a phrase often quoted in movies that actually stems from the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995.

7. At one point during the shoot, they actually buried Reynolds very briefly buried for real and they had to have paramedics on standby.

8. By the end of the 17 day shoot, Reynolds admitted that he himself had become quite claustrophobic.

Spending all that time in a tiny coffin as it was gradually filled with more sand probably didn’t require much acting.

9. It wound up being a moderate box office success, grossing $21 million on a $2 million budget.

10. At the Goya Awards in Spain, Buried won Best Original Screenplay and Editing, and was nominated for Best Director, Actor, and Original Song.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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