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Unable to enter; unable to leave
September 26, 2012 10:56 AM   Subscribe

For an essay, I need a few more examples of films where the main characters cannot enter or leave a physical space, for whatever reasons.

The films I currently have in mind are The Exterminating Angel, Stalker and possibly Cube.
posted by perhapses to Media & Arts (88 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Das Boot, Alien, and any number of ship/space ship movies.
posted by bswinburn at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Panic Room.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2012


What about Rear Window?
posted by eendje at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Waiting for Godot.
posted by logicpunk at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Exam.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2012


Any number of vampire films/TV shows have this trope; vampires cannot enter a home without being invited. Let the Right One In actually has the vampire tell the other kid, "You have to invite me in."

Speed could be a less intellectual and vampire-free example. In addition to having to speed one of the rules set by the villain is that no one is allowed to get off of the bus. When they try to defy him on this, he detonates a bomb that injures (or kills?) one of the hostages.
posted by asnider at 11:01 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phone Booth
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:01 AM on September 26, 2012


Johnny Got His Gun
posted by mattbucher at 11:01 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Source Code, for some obvious and not-so-obvious-until-the-end reasons.
posted by Oktober at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mental Institution/Prison Movies: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Shutter Island, Escape from Alcatraz, Shawshank Redemption, etc.

Another ship/space nominee: Sunshine.
posted by googly at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2012


The Shining. And The Shinning.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2012


Disturbia features Shia LeBeouf under house arrest, wearing an ankle monitor and witnessing a Rear Window type situation.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2012


Clue.
posted by mochapickle at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2012


Buried.
posted by koinonia at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And: The Truman Show.
posted by googly at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Cabin in the Woods.
posted by smirkyfodder at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding Let the Right One In.

Also, on a lesser known note, The Killing Room.
posted by dogwalker at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2012


Saw.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


My dad's friend wrote this episode of the Twilight Zone.
posted by brujita at 11:08 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh! The Fall. The characters are in a hospital. (But the places they go!)
posted by mochapickle at 11:10 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Warning: TV Tropes link. Bottle Episode.
posted by phunniemee at 11:11 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lifeboat.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:11 AM on September 26, 2012


Dogville.
posted by edbles at 11:13 AM on September 26, 2012


Die Hard, The Descent, Dead Calm all come to mind...
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 11:14 AM on September 26, 2012


There's a liiiiiiiiiight... over at the Frankenstein place...

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
posted by Rock Steady at 11:15 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speed
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:16 AM on September 26, 2012


Titanic!
posted by mochapickle at 11:17 AM on September 26, 2012


Moon!
posted by mochapickle at 11:17 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Apollo 13!
posted by mochapickle at 11:20 AM on September 26, 2012


carefull. guy madden
posted by citybuddha at 11:20 AM on September 26, 2012


In Beetlejuice, the the married couple can't leave the house after they die.
posted by LN at 11:24 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


No Exit (any of its film adaptations)
posted by dd42 at 11:24 AM on September 26, 2012


The House on Haunetd Hill, and any number of "spend the night in the creepy haunted house" movies. 13 Ghosts is another, I think.
posted by five toed sloth at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2012


100 Feet, which could have been better but isn't bad.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2012


The Breakfast Club.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Shogun. (6-part miniseries, also released as a condensed 2-hour movie.)
posted by Melismata at 11:31 AM on September 26, 2012


Maybe 12 Angry Men?
posted by in a dark glassly at 11:31 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Birdman of Alcatraz
posted by Longtime Listener at 11:32 AM on September 26, 2012


The Blockhouse. With Peter Sellars!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:38 AM on September 26, 2012


(Sellars? Sellers.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:39 AM on September 26, 2012


Cast Away
posted by maloon at 11:40 AM on September 26, 2012


You're probably looking for the pinnacle of human creativity, Stay Tuned.
posted by cmonkey at 11:42 AM on September 26, 2012


Exam. Also Phone Booth.
posted by cereselle at 11:43 AM on September 26, 2012


The Truman Show.
posted by hot soup girl at 11:45 AM on September 26, 2012


Bubble Boy.
posted by hot soup girl at 11:47 AM on September 26, 2012


The Simpson's Movie (the dome)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2012


Groundhog Day
Gantz
Air Force One
posted by alchemist at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2012


127 Hours.
posted by bondcliff at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forgive me, but Bio-Dome
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many prison movies might fit your description -- e.g. Papillon, unless the entire movie has to be constrained inside a space.

I wonder about Polanski's debut: "Knife in the Water" -- certainly claustrophobic.

What was the movie about five/ten years ago that was just people treading water while sharks picked them off - a dive trip gone wrong I think?
posted by Rumple at 11:56 AM on September 26, 2012


Boxing Helena
posted by fuse theorem at 11:57 AM on September 26, 2012


Jim Henson's The Cube.
posted by baf at 12:01 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lucky Number Slevin. The Boss and The Rabbi, unable to leave their towers for fear of each other.
posted by Packed Lunch at 12:04 PM on September 26, 2012


Anybody say Blast From the Past yet?
posted by daisystomper at 12:13 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rumple, you are thinking of Open Water, I would guess.
posted by daisystomper at 12:15 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


More Polanski: Repulsion. Catherine Deneuve go cray-cray.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:21 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The Andromeda Strain." I'm on the fence about this, because, while the scientists have tremendous obstacles to leaving, the climax requires one to try. I guess it's like "Outland," set on a space station, but ultimately climaxes outside the space station, in suits.

Dr. Strangelove fits, although only one person actually wants to leave the place he's in; there are 3 plotlines going on, one of which is set primarily in The War Room, one set on an Air Force Base, and one set aboard an airborne B-52.

Movies only? While there are plenty of televisual ripoffs and remakes of Rear Window, for example, there's also shows such as "The Prisoner," which features a man imprisoned in a weird resort he cannot leave...
posted by Sunburnt at 12:33 PM on September 26, 2012


The Others
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:36 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Castaway on the Moon. A Korean film that will blow your mind.
posted by THAT William Mize at 12:40 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Poltergeist?

And speaking of Castaways, how about Castaway?
posted by Sunburnt at 12:42 PM on September 26, 2012


Came in to suggest The Twilight Zone's Five Characters in Search of an Exit. Since it's already been suggested, it occurs to me that there are actually many episodes of TZ where something like this happens.

Does it have to be film? There are a ton of books that play with this kind of idea.
posted by windykites at 12:51 PM on September 26, 2012


Also, The Hole, although--like many of these stories--it's bookended by scenes before the characters cannot leave and after they can.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:52 PM on September 26, 2012


And more Polanski: Carnage.
posted by Dean King at 12:52 PM on September 26, 2012


Many disaster movies have this in some shape or form.
posted by rjs at 12:58 PM on September 26, 2012


Fantastic Voyage and Inner Space.
posted by skye.dancer at 12:58 PM on September 26, 2012


There's also Cube2: Hypercube
posted by marylynn at 1:01 PM on September 26, 2012


Lady in a Cage (the cage in question is an elevator in her mansion).
posted by bCat at 1:01 PM on September 26, 2012


Places one cannot leave: Cool Air, Dark City, In the Mouth of Madness, The Mist, Moon, The Strangers, The Truman Show.

Places one cannot enter: Detroit Rock City (can't get into the KISS concert).
posted by Boxenmacher at 1:03 PM on September 26, 2012


Devil, Elevator and ATM were all pretty good thrillers.
posted by malrimple at 1:04 PM on September 26, 2012


L'âge de la machine: a few people stuck in a train station because of a snowstorm. The Island in And Then There Were None in various adaptations.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:05 PM on September 26, 2012


The Vanishing.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2012


Thanks for all the suggestions. I just ran across some notes I took long ago about this subject which brought up a couple more films.
No Man's Land
Stranded: I've Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains
posted by perhapses at 1:34 PM on September 26, 2012


Sunshine

Also along the spaceship lines, Apollo 13
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:44 PM on September 26, 2012


Woman in the Dunes (1964)
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson at 2:46 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cemetery Man
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 2:47 PM on September 26, 2012


Seconding "Buried". Might be the most extreme example -- almost the entire movie takes place in a coffin.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 4:34 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Misery
The diving bell and the butterfly.
posted by roue at 5:25 PM on September 26, 2012


The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)
Dredd (2012) Central characters stuck in a giant housing block.
Right at your Door (2006) Dirty bombs in LA means a shut-in and a shut-out.
The Divide (2011) Survivors of a nuclear attack stuck in a basement.
posted by biffa at 5:39 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lord of the Flies. Novel. Original film (1963). Remake (1990).
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:07 PM on September 26, 2012


Escape from New York
Escape from L A
Escape from... lots of places!
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:17 PM on September 26, 2012


Dead Calm.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:59 PM on September 26, 2012


Luis Bunel's film The Exterminating Angels. I saw it eons ago, but basically guests at a lavish dinner party are unable to leave for no discernible reason (at least that I can remember).
posted by kaybdc at 8:22 PM on September 26, 2012


Sorry on preview just noticed that you'd already mentioned The Exterminating Angel. I.ve got nothing else.
posted by kaybdc at 8:24 PM on September 26, 2012


World Trade Center.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:30 PM on September 26, 2012


Not allowed out - The German (Milgram-type prison experiment movie) Das Experiment. Well worth watching...
posted by guy72277 at 1:58 AM on September 27, 2012


Silent Running

Bruce Dern and the most adorable robots.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2012


Seconding Jim Henson's The Cube. Excellent, 1 hour movie all about someone trapped in a white cube, while others enter and exit at will. Kind of hilarious, kind of horrifying.
posted by taltalim at 2:34 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, no Bresson fans? A Man Escaped. (Trailer. Notes.)
posted by verstegan at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2012


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