How Does the Movie the Box End

How Does the Movie ‘The Box’ End: Exploring 9 Interesting Facts

Released in 2009, ‘The Box’ is a psychological thriller film directed by Richard Kelly and based on the short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson. The movie revolves around a mysterious box that grants its owner one million dollars but comes with a catch – pressing the button inside will cause the death of a random person. As the plot unfolds, a series of intriguing twists and turns keep viewers on their toes until the film’s surprising conclusion. In this article, we will delve into the ending of ‘The Box’ while also uncovering nine interesting facts about the movie that will captivate fans and newcomers alike.

1. The Ending: In the final act of ‘The Box,’ protagonist Norma Lewis (played by Cameron Diaz) presses the button, choosing personal gain over the life of her husband, Arthur (portrayed by James Marsden). However, instead of killing Arthur, the box turns out to be a test of humanity orchestrated by supernatural beings. Norma and Arthur are subsequently transported to an alien-like world where they are informed that they will be used as test subjects for future experiments.

2. The Supernatural Beings: The movie introduces the concept of “the people from the other side,” who are responsible for the creation of the box and its experiments. These beings, resembling disfigured aliens, are revealed to be monitoring humanity and testing their moral compass by tempting them with the box’s offer.

3. The Historical Context: ‘The Box’ is set in the 1970s, a time of social and scientific exploration. The film incorporates real-life events and concepts from that era, such as the Mars Viking landings and the famous Milgram experiments, which tested human obedience to authority figures.

4. The Role of NASA: Norma’s husband, Arthur, works for NASA in the movie. This is a nod to Richard Kelly’s fascination with space exploration, as evidenced by his previous film ‘Donnie Darko.’ The inclusion of NASA also adds to the sense of mystery and scientific intrigue throughout the story.

5. The Box’s Origins: In the film, the box is traced back to the Sartre Institute, a fictional organization that studies human behavior and consciousness. This connection suggests that the box is a product of advanced scientific experiments conducted by the institute, merging philosophy and psychology.

6. The Philosophy of Choice: ‘The Box’ delves into philosophical questions surrounding choice, morality, and the consequences of our actions. It raises ethical dilemmas, forcing viewers to question what they would do in a similar situation.

7. Richard Matheson’s Influence: Richard Matheson, the author of the original short story, was also involved in the creation of ‘The Box.’ His work has greatly influenced the horror and science fiction genres, with his notable contributions including ‘I Am Legend’ and several classic episodes of ‘The Twilight Zone.’

8. The Soundtrack: The movie’s score, composed by members of the indie rock band Arcade Fire, adds an eerie and atmospheric feel to the story. The haunting melodies heighten the tension and unease, intensifying the viewing experience.

9. Critical Reception: ‘The Box’ received mixed reviews upon its release, with critics divided on its complex narrative and ambiguous ending. Some praised the film’s thought-provoking themes and unique storytelling, while others found it convoluted or unsatisfying. Regardless, ‘The Box’ remains an intriguing and polarizing entry in Richard Kelly’s body of work.

Now, let’s address some common questions viewers may have about ‘The Box’ and provide the answers:

1. Is ‘The Box’ based on a true story?

No, ‘The Box’ is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction inspired by Richard Matheson’s short story.

2. What is the significance of the button in ‘The Box’?

The button represents a moral dilemma and the consequences of personal gain. It tests the characters’ willingness to sacrifice others for their own benefit.

3. What is the purpose of the people from the other side?

The people from the other side are presented as supernatural beings testing humanity’s moral fiber. They use the box as a means to assess humanity’s choices.

4. Are the people from the other side aliens?

While their exact nature is not explicitly stated, the people from the other side are portrayed as disfigured beings with advanced technology and a keen interest in human behavior.

5. What is the significance of the 1970s setting?

The 1970s setting adds a historical context to the film, incorporating real events and scientific experiments from that era. It also enhances the mystery and intrigue surrounding the story.

6. Did Norma and Arthur survive at the end?

Yes, Norma and Arthur survive, but they are transported to an alien-like world to be used as test subjects for future experiments.

7. What is the message of ‘The Box’?

The movie raises questions about morality, choice, and the consequences of our actions. It challenges viewers to consider the value of personal gain versus the sanctity of human life.

8. Why did Norma press the button?

Norma presses the button out of desperation and the desire to provide a better life for her son. She succumbs to the temptation of personal gain, even at the cost of someone else’s life.

9. Is ‘The Box’ worth watching?

While ‘The Box’ received mixed reviews, it is worth watching for fans of psychological thrillers and Richard Kelly’s unique storytelling style. Its thought-provoking themes and unexpected twists make for an intriguing viewing experience.

10. What is Richard Kelly known for?

Richard Kelly is known for his distinctive approach to storytelling, often blending elements of science fiction, psychological thrillers, and philosophical concepts. His most notable work includes ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Southland Tales.’

11. How does ‘The Box’ compare to Richard Matheson’s original story?

While ‘The Box’ expands upon the core concept of Richard Matheson’s short story, it diverges significantly in terms of plot and narrative. The movie incorporates additional elements and themes to create a more complex and thought-provoking story.

12. Why did Richard Kelly choose Arcade Fire for the soundtrack?

Richard Kelly admired Arcade Fire’s music and felt their unique sound would complement the eerie atmosphere of ‘The Box.’ The band’s haunting melodies added to the film’s overall sense of unease.

13. Will there be a sequel to ‘The Box’?

As of now, there are no plans for a sequel to ‘The Box.’ The film’s ending provides closure to the story, leaving little room for continuation.

14. How did ‘The Box’ perform at the box office?

‘The Box’ did not perform well at the box office, failing to recoup its production budget. However, the film has gained a cult following and continues to intrigue audiences.

15. Did Richard Matheson approve of the adaptation?

Yes, Richard Matheson was involved in the creation of ‘The Box’ and reportedly approved of Richard Kelly’s adaptation of his short story.

16. Are there any alternate endings?

No, there are no official alternate endings to ‘The Box.’ The ending depicted in the movie is the intended conclusion.

17. What other movies are similar to ‘The Box’?

Movies with similar themes and moral dilemmas include ‘The Twilight Zone: The Movie,’ ‘The Butterfly Effect,’ and ‘The Adjustment Bureau.’

In summary, ‘The Box’ concludes with a surprising twist that reveals the box to be a test of humanity’s morality, orchestrated by supernatural beings from another world. The movie raises thought-provoking questions about choice, morality, and the consequences of our actions. With its historical context, philosophical undertones, and unique narrative, ‘The Box’ remains a captivating entry in the psychological thriller genre, leaving viewers pondering the complexities of human nature long after the credits roll.

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