One of the biggest problems with contained horror movies, like "Buried" and "Phone Booth," can be that they're just that: contained. Stephen Dorff's new movie, "Brake," looks to solve that problem with a little help from a speeding car.
In the film, Dorff plays a government agent who finds himself trapped inside a Plexiglas coffin, but unlike "Buried," the box isn't underground. It's in the trunk of a car.
The unique premise meant Dorff leaving his comfort zone on more than one level. "This film was kind of more of an experiment for me. We made the movie in ten and a half days, which I didn't think was possible," he said. "For me, this was kind of my secret film that I didn't announce to anybody even my agents that I was making. I told my lawyer, so he made a deal for me."
"Brake" comes from the mind of 19-year-old Timothy Mannion, a first time screenwriter. Dorff was the one who originally saw the script and expressed interest in the project.
To prepare for the role of Jeremy Reiner, Dorff worked with real secret service to add a level of believability.
"We pretty much stay in this confined, claustrophobic space for, I think, 67 minutes," Dorff said. "For me, it's manipulation. It's a game, this film. Ultimately, there are a couple twists once I get out of the truck, which I really can't go into because I would probably ruin the movie for you."
With the special constraints of the story, Dorff said that the premise reminded him of another unique action flick. "To me it's experimental in the spirit. It's kind of genre. It kind of feels like the first 'Die Hard' in a weird way," Dorff said. "You got this young, kind of John McClane character in the truck of a car, moving at 120 miles per hour at times. At other times, it's standing completely still, but I think it's a total manipulation. "
The ultimate goal of the movie, according to Dorff, is to put you right in the trunk with Jeremy. "If you get lost in it, by the time I get out of the truck, you feel like you're getting out of the truck. It's a pretty tortuous film," he said. "It's pretty hardcore. It's pretty violent. I wanted this guy to be thrown around like a rag doll, and that's pretty much what happens to him."
"Brake" opens in select theaters on March 21.
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