Arthur and Norma Lewis are a young, middle class couple, living just beyond their means. Arthur is a scientist for NASA and Norma is a teacher. But when a strange box arrives on their doorstep, their lives will change forever. A man with a severe burn that has taken away part of his face arrives to tell them about the box. In the box is a button. If they push the button, two things will happen. One – someone they don’t know will die. And Two – they will receive one million dollars, tax-free.
I’m not a fan of Cameron Diaz, but I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed her performance as Norma, who has a deformity of her own. James Marsden plays her husband Arthur with a little less intensity, but still believable. It’s the story that’s unbelievable.
What starts out as an eerie, horror-like drama, soon takes a turn for a head-scratching, science fiction, mish-mash of ideas. Based on the short story by Richard Matheson, an incredible idea is unfortunately derailed in translation to film. A master plan is revealed, along with motivation. But strange happenings such as nosebleeds, water-like doorways, and people brought back from the dead are never fully explained. I really wanted to like the film – the story and acting was intense and highly suspenseful. But in the end, I was disappointed with the bizarre, unexplained, and erratic events that added nothing to the story.