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mazingerz88's avatar

Movie fans, what are the things a film shot in just one location must have to make it worth watching?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18343 points ) October 4th, 2011

Paranormal Activity pulled it off by utilizing horror but what other elements of storytelling and filmaking do you think are needed to make a movie, shot in just one location, like a house for example, really entertaining?

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12 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Suspense. I don’t know if that is too similar to “horror,” but movies that come to mind like Phonebooth or Source Code had that on-the-edge-of-your-seat thing going for them. Or tried to, at least.

janbb's avatar

Interesting characters and a strong plot. See Ingmar Bergman or mid-Woody Allen movies.

ucme's avatar

It has to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock & it must be called Rope!

dappled_leaves's avatar

Characters, dialogue, story.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Much like @dappled_leaves I need a good story, good dialog, and good characters, but it’s not just that, it’s a kind of sum of it’s parts deal. The movie just needs to get it right, and hit on those little key points that keep you captivated.

The movie that comes to mind is The Man From Earth, the way they debated and interacted was very believable to me. It just told a good story that captivated me.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Rodney Dangerfields Easy Money

Because I was raised practically in this film, on location!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXNwxkHcD0A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siaKlRLhsug&feature=related

*I donwanna see her fu#king moooothaaah…. Roflmao!

flutherother's avatar

Great dialogue as in a play.

Rheto_Ric's avatar

A movie shot in one location needs exactly what every other movie needs: characters in conflict. The acting, the direction, etc. etc. all contribute, but if you don’t have conflict in your script, you have nothing.
One location like a submarine or a coffin, camera lenses, lighting, camera movement, sound and music all take more of a centre stage. One location like an island, not so much.

lillycoyote's avatar

I agree with @Rheto_Ric. A film shot in a single location needs the same things all movies need to be good and those include compelling characters and a good story; a good script.

Rope
12 Angry Men
The Breakfast Club
My Dinner Andre
Closet Land
Dog Day Afternoon
Das Boot

to give some examples, are all very different films, all basically shot in a single location, some in a single room, and they are all good in their own way. I’m not sure if there is any one thing that unites them or that they all have in common, except that they are all shot in basically in one location.

.

Symbeline's avatar

I’m basing my answer on the horror genre, cuz that’s the only thing I know stuff bouts;

I strongly agree with the idea of good, legit suspense, well fleshed out characters and an interesting interaction between them at all times.

I might also suggest the following; the place in which the movie takes place needs to be a character in its own way. I mean that the location must be interesting in itself, even if it’s as such for the mere reason of complimenting the events that strike it. Depending on what the movie is doing, the location needs to respect that. In Paranormal Activity, they offered a nice big apartment with all sorts of nooks and crannies that were creepy just by being there. (a modern apartment that’s freaking me out; this is a rare feat indeed) Even if nothing happened with them, (nooks and crannies) the entity in the movie made absolutely no guarantee, so the whole apartment was scary, and I found myself worrying and being all edged out on places in there that, finally, had dick all to do with anything. The movie messed with my ass, because the location had a personality.

Blair Witch had very normal looking woods, which helped with the realism that movie was going for.

Rec uses an old style apartment building with narrow halls, shitloads of stairs and labyrinthy rooms in order to accentuate the feel of panic as zombies go after people. It also uses a lot of darkness, which is, for once, actually not annoying at all.

The place needs to be built to accommodate its premise, especially if a movie mostly takes place in the one location.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Buried is the best example of a single location film. Plot: Man wakes up to find himself buried in a coffin.

Not only is it a single location, but it is a single room. The entire (95 minute) film is shot inside the coffin. The camera never leaves. Never.

As claimed by previous jellies, what really makes this movie work is that we have a character in one hell of a conflict. And we are stuck in the coffin with him for the entire ordeal.

(heads up to those who subscribe…the movie is instant on Netflix)

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