With the unfortunate (and yes, incredibly frustrating) MCO 3.0 we all have to endure yet again, that means no trip to the cinema for the time being. So, it’s back to relying heavily on home streaming. Among the movies that piqued our interest is “Oxygen”, which features a single character (Melanie Laurent) trapped in a coffin-like cryogenic chamber. With oxygen running out, she has to find a way out before it’s too late.
And while we wait for the arrival of this high-concept thriller, you might want to check out these 8 Best Single Location Movies That Are Worth Watching in alphabetical order.
1) All Is Lost (2013)
An unnamed protagonist (Robert Redford) wakes up to find out that his yacht has hit a steel crate floating in the middle of the ocean. From there, we see how he tries to stay alive while facing an incoming violent storm. A movie that features only one actor isn’t an easy feat to pull off. This is especially true when it comes to sustaining one’s interest throughout the duration. And in the case of “All Is Lost”, the movie runs 106 minutes long. But writer-director J.C. Chandor does a great job keeping his movie taut and engaging. Then, there’s the legendary Robert Redford as he gives the best late-career performance ever seen in his acting career.
2) Buried (2010)
Wait, a movie that is set… entirely in a coffin? How is that even possible? For Spanish director Rodrigo Cortes making his Hollywood debut, he did just that with impressive results. The movie boasts a deceptively simple premise: Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), a truck driver delivering kitchen supplies in war-torn Iraq finds himself awake while being buried inside a wooden coffin following an ambush. So, throughout the 95 minutes, we see Conroy trying every human way possible to look for help. That includes everything from attempting to dig his way out of the coffin to calling on his mobile phone. “Buried” packs enough claustrophobic tension from start to finish and of course, Ryan Reynolds’ memorable one-man show in his tense and sympathetic performance.
3) Cube (1997)
Get this: Six strangers trapped in a mysterious maze, complete with booby traps. Then-newcomer Vincenzo Natali’s direction (you can stream his other movie, “In The Tall Glass” on Netflix) is airtight and knows well how to stage a few engrossing moments. While “Cube” may shot on a low budget, the overall inventive premise cements this little movie as one of the best single-location movies ever made.
4) Dead Calm (1989)
Long before these three actors (Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane) made it to the Hollywood map with the latter two known for their respective roles in “Jurassic Park” and “Titanic”, they appeared in this little thriller called “Dead Calm”. And yes, the young Nicole Kidman was pretty much unknown back then. The premise is simple but engaging enough: A married couple (Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman) finds themselves terrorised by a psychotic (Billy Zane) aboard their yacht. The movie boasts terrific acting all around, particularly Nicole Kidman’s tour de force performance and Billy Zane’s sneaky antagonist role.
5) Die Hard (1988)
Here’s the movie that famously changed Hollywood action cinema. At least at the time of its release in 1988 and the subsequent imitators that came along over the next decade. “Die Hard” gave us a working-class hero in the form of then-young Bruce Willis’ John McClane, who (pretty much) single-handedly save the day. And that is saving hostages and stopping a group of heavily-armed terrorists inside Los Angeles’ (fictional) Nakatomi Plaza. The action takes place mainly in the skyscraper while the movie is blessed with great performances (Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber come to mind). And of course, an otherwise straightforward plot filled with you-did-not-see-this-coming twists. Stream “Die Hard” right here on Netflix.
6) Flightplan (2005)
Taking a cue from Alfred Hitchock’s “The Lady Vanishes” except with the premise changing its setting from a train to plane. In “Flightplan”, Jodie Foster plays a widowed engineer who finds her daughter mysteriously disappearing in the middle of a flight. And to make things complicated, nobody on the plane recalls seeing her. Foster carries her role well enough while the movie benefits from several claustrophobic moments.
7) Locke (2013)
The only movie on this list that isn’t a thriller but more of a chamber drama. And in the case of “Locke”, the movie takes inside a moving car (BMW X5, to be exact) over the course of a single night. Here, we see the titular protagonist played by Tom Hardy heading home as usual. En route, he receives a phone call from his ex-lover (Olivia Colman) concerning the birth of his illegitimate child. What follows next is a series of emotional roller-coasters, coupled with Tom Hardy’s impressive one-man performance.
8) Panic Room (2002)
Taking place almost entirely inside a Manhattan townhouse, “Panic Room” centres around a mother (Jodie Foster) and her teenage daughter (Kristen Stewart) forced to hide in a fortified panic room following a break-in. Director David Fincher pulls all out the stops to make his otherwise single-location movie a visually compelling piece of work. Inventive camerawork, distinctive grey-green cinematography and top-notch performances make “Panic Room” a must-see for every movie fan. Stream “Panic Room” right here on Netflix.
“Oxygen” will be streaming on Netflix beginning April 12, 2021 onwards.