15 Great Single Location Movies

Buried (2010)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Buried (2010)

Prior to 2010, if you were to name the actors that you thought could carry a whole movie by themselves, chances are Ryan Reynolds would be pretty low on the list. He proved everyone wrong however, delivering a fantastic performance in Buried as an American truck driver in Iraq who awakens after an attack to find himself living out everyone's worst nightmare, buried alive in a coffin with no idea why. The film is remarkable not only for Reynolds' performance but also because it stretches the single location of the coffin to its limit in terms of story, somehow managing to keep the audience's attention for over an hour-and-a-half without resorting to cheap tricks or cutting away to a different venue. The result is a tense, inventive, and claustrophobic thriller. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1462758/

Clue (1985)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Clue (1985)

Yes, it's based on the board game of the same name (or Cluedo, depending on your location). Almost unbelievably however, director Jonathan Lynn manages to turn the most simplistic of source material into a hilarious and unpredictable comedy featuring, among others, Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future). The film boasts a breakneck pace as the murders start piling up, leading to one of three different and fittingly absurd conclusions depending on which version you're watching (although most DVD releases include all three possible endings), which was an inventive technique employed to keep movie theatre audiences guessing. It's a refreshingly funny and clever film that has held up remarkably well, and the action is so frenetic that it's easy to forget that everything takes places entirely in the mansion from the board game. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088930/

Cube (1997)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Cube (1997)

Cube has already received a whole heap of attention on Reddit, so I won't say too much about it. However it definitely deserves a mention here due to the creative way that the filmmakers use the minuscule set and budget to give life to a fascinating premise of strangers trapped in a series of booby-trapped cubes. You probably need an appreciation for b-movies to be able to look past the acting, which at times is almost unbearable, but the film's ambitions are so staggeringly high compared to its resources that you can't help but admire it. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/

Devil (2010)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Devil (2010)

The single sentence premise of Devil is undeniably intriguing: 'A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them'. The film is written (although not directed) by M. Night Shyamalan, who delivers a timely reminder that he's still capable of putting together a sinister and interesting story. Much of the movie plays off the common fear of being trapped in an elevator, and even though your suspension of disbelief has to be pretty strong as the story develops, the constant sense of mystery surrounding what is, at the most basic level, a whodunnit, keeps you entertained for the brief 80 minutes runtime. So long as you don't go in with overly high expectations this is definitely an enjoyable watch. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1314655/

Exam (2009)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Exam (2009)

The single location in question here is a windowless room that houses the eight final candidates for a mysterious job vacancy at an even more mysterious company. The candidates are given 80 minutes to answer one simple question and three rules that they must obey in doing so. The only problem is that they don't know what the question is. The events take place in real time, and things inevitably unravel as the candidates realise that they can talk to one another, and attempt to co-operate in order to resolve the problem, despite their growing mistrust of each other. The twists and turns are laid on thick, and some of the final revelations may be a bit difficult to swallow, but the film is constantly entertaining and deserves credit for getting so much out of such a simple premise. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1258197/ Also check out the Spanish film that inspired The Exam, 'El Método': http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427582/

It's A Disaster (2012)

15 Great Single Location Movies - It's A Disaster (2012)

It's A Disaster tells the story of a group of friends who are trapped in a house while the city around them is attacked in what may or may not be the end of the world. The film stars Julia Stiles (Dexter) and David Cross (Arrested Development), who does a surprisingly good job at playing the not-so-comedic straight man for once. The film however is more comedy than drama, as the friends deftly riff on post-apocalyptic tropes and cliches, all the while dealing with their own relationships and conflicts that are brought out by the situation. It's subtle humour rather than laugh-out-loud, in your face comedy (although there are moments of that as well), but the dramatic underpinnings of the story, the well-defined characters, and the natural and witty dialogue make for a fantastic 90 minutes, especially for anyone who enjoys apocalyptic fiction. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1995341/

Lebanon (2009)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Lebanon (2009)

This Israeli war movie follows the personnel in a tank during the First Lebanon War in 1982, with all but three shots consisting of the interior of the tank. It's a very similar premise to Das Boot (which also takes place nearly entirely in the one location), and, just like that German masterpiece, the beauty of Lebanon is the claustrophobia and tension that the audience grows to share with the crew, in part due to the cinematic technique of keeping the viewer enclosed in the tank with them. It can be an exhausting watch at times, but the beautiful cinematography and occasional glimpses of humour go some way towards offering some welcome relief, and the film is admirable for offering a personal (and at times horrific) insight into war, even though the script itself may be far from subtle. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483831/

Lifeboat (1944)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Lifeboat (1944)

Alfred Hitchcock is the undisputed master of the single location thriller, and so many of his movies, from Rope to Rear Window to Dial M For Murder, could be listed here. One of his lesser known films however is Lifeboat, the story of the survivors of a sunken ship who find themselves in the same lifeboat as one of the men who torpedoed it. It's the rich backstories that Hitchcock gives to the characters and the interplay between them that makes this film stand out in Hitchcock's towering filmography, although it is definitely missing some of the polish of his later work. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037017/

Pontypool (2008)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Pontypool (2008)

This ultra low budget psychological thriller takes a refreshingly low key approach to a zombie apocalypse, focusing on a small town radio station that unknowingly becomes ground zero during the outbreak. Stephen McHattie (Watchmen, 300) delivers a powerhouse performance as the radio presenter who breaks the news of the pandemic, complete with a convincingly silky voice, but what really makes this worth watching is the constant buildup of tension and the untraditional and unpredictable nature of the zombie plague. At times the film's origins as a radio play are just a little too obvious, but the running time still flies by and the movie makes the absolute most out of the sole location of the radio booth. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226681/

REC (2007)

15 Great Single Location Movies - REC (2007)

REC is a real time, single location, found footage zombie thriller. That's probably all you need to know, but if you want a further reason to check out this Spanish horror film then it's one of the few properly terrifying modern zombie movies that doesn't rely solely on jump scares but also a constantly growing sense of menace and tension as things build up to an incendiary final act. It manages to avoid most of the tropes of the found footage genre and, while it takes place entirely in an apartment building, the film, like all the best horror pictures, is more about the shock of what you don't see than what you do see. REC spawned three sequels, with the final instalment due out later this year, as well as an American remake in Quarantine, but the original is still the place to start. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038988/

Right At Your Door (2006)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Right At Your Door (2006)

Right At Your Door is yet another apocalyptic movie set nearly entirely in a suburban house. A dirty bomb explodes in Los Angeles, but instead of focusing on the broader picture the film looks at things at a smaller scale, detailing the story of one married couple. The husband is inside, and the wife is trapped outside, so the moral dilemma presented by the film is simple: should the husband let her in, thereby risking exposure, or refuse to do so, potentially meaning that he will be forced to stand by and watch her helplessly die? It's a frighteningly real premise, and the movie pulls no emotional punches. For those worn out by big budget disaster movies, this is a refreshingly personal tale that somehow manages to be more horrific than seeing countless people fall victim to a massive disaster. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458367/

Sleuth (1972)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Sleuth (1972)

Based on the 1970 play of the same name, Sleuth is the final film by director Joseph L. Makiewicz (All About Eve). It stars the legends Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, who concoct an intricate insurance fraud plan involving a fake robbery. Things spiral out of control however as levels of intrigue and betrayal are layered on one after another, shifting the power dynamic between the characters who are both equally assured of their own ability. The two hour plus runtime can drag a little at times (see the decent 2007 remake, also staring Michael Caine, for a brisker pace), but seeing two of the great actors of their respective generations go toe-to-toe in a battle of wits is something not to be missed. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069281/

The Disappearance Of Alice Creed (2009)

15 Great Single Location Movies - The Disappearance Of Alice Creed (2009)

Things branch out a little towards the end, but the vast majority of this British thriller takes place in a single apartment, as the titular character, played by Gemma Arterton, is kidnapped and held captive by two masked assailants. The performances of all three leads are nothing short of exceptional, but the real star here is the direction by first timer J. Blakeson, who somehow manages to turn a budget of less than a million dollars into one of the slickest and visually stylish movies about a brutal kidnapping that you'll ever see. The movie is tense, dark, minimalistic, and rough, and it's no wonder that it's become viewed as an example of just how much you can achieve on a tiny budget. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1379177/

The Mist (2007)

15 Great Single Location Movies - The Mist (2007)

A quite well-known movie that perhaps deserves re-evaluation, The Mist is directed by none other than Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) but never received close to the acclaim of his other work. The events of the film follow the story of the members of a town who find themselves trapped in a supermarket while an unexplained mist spreads all around them, concealing deadly and otherworldly creatures. The supermarket is a classic location for a post-apocalpytic tale of survival, although the film is distinguished from many of its peers by being based on a Stephen King story and therefore featuring plenty of his trademark horror elements. It's worth seeing just for the ending, which even Stephen King has admitted he preferred to that of his novella. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0884328/

Wait Until Dark (1967)

15 Great Single Location Movies - Wait Until Dark (1967)

If you can buy the premise of Wait Until Dark you're in for a thrilling ride from director Terence Young (James Bond). Nearly the entirety of the movie takes place in the home of the blind Susy Hendrix while a trio of unusually resourceful thugs attempt an increasingly (and probably unnecessarily, but we'll ignore that) elaborate scheme to convince her to reveal the location of a doll stuffed with heroin. Wait Until Dark is yet another film on this list based on a stage play, which is very obvious in the plot development, but Young brings a cinematic feel to the single location, including some of the best lighting you'll ever see in a thriller, particularly during the nail-biting finale. Audrey Hepburn was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of the blind victim of the scheme, but the real star is Alan Arkin, who plays the menacing villain with real flair and convincing malice. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062467/


15 Great Single Location Movies - Others

There are some other single location films that are so well-known I figured there was no point including them. As well as the previously mentioned Hitchcock thrillers and Das Boot, there's also: 12 Angry Men (pictured) 127 Hours Clerks Dredd Four Rooms Panic Room Phone Booth Reservoir Dogs The Breakfast Club The Raid: Redemption And a whole heap of others.

Source: http://imgur.com/a/czTpY