Top 7 Films Set In Enclosed Spaces

Films set in enclosed spaces have the ability to not only immerse the audience in a captivating story, but can also produce great performances from the actors who feature in them. With new Tom Hardy film Locke (out 18 April) being hailed as a masterpiece of minimalistic cinema, we started thinking about other great films set in enclosed spaces.

1. Buried (2010)

Set in the most confined space there is, the film follows a US truck driver working in Iraq who finds himself buried alive after being attacked by a group of Iraqis. With only a mobile phone and lighter at his disposal, Paul is left in a race against time to try and escape his fate. Garnering rave reviews, most agreed that this gripping thriller was the stuff of nightmares as Ryan Reynolds gave one of his strongest performances to date.

2. Panic Room (2002)

Jodie Foster famously stars as a divorced woman who takes refuge in her new house’s safe room when three men break in. David Fincher’s captivating thriller may have been set in a whole house, but his knack for building tension makes this a must-see on our list if not just for a young Kristen Stewart’s stellar debut performance as the young diabetic daughter.

3. Phone Booth (2003)

The film tells the story of a man who finds himself trapped in a New York phone booth by a mystery sniper. Also starring Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes and Kiefer Sutherland, the idea for the film was originally pitched to Alfred Hitchcock but he reportedly couldn’t decide on how to keep a character in a booth for the duration of a film. Writer Larry Cohen solved the problem by adding an extortionist with a gun and grudge. The rest of history.

4. Lifeboat (1944)

Another incredibly confined space is a boat, so it’s no wonder Alfred Hitchcock was responsible for a classic thriller set in a lifeboat. The risqué suspense impressed many as Hitchcock brought the John Steinbeck story to the cinema screen. The film actually inspired Hitchcock to do a few more limited-setting films in his career.

5. Devil (2010)

No one wants the devil as a travelling companion, so a film about a literal elevator ride from hell was always going to be an intense watch. A group of strangers find themselves trapped in a lift and it soon becomes clear that the devil is actually with them. Based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan, though the Sixth Sense director took a back seat in a producer role for this flick.

6. Flightplan (2005)

There have been many films set on a plane including Red Eye, Non-Stop, and even good old Snakes On A Plane. But once again Jodie Foster produced a brilliant performance as she starred in this rather claustrophobic thriller about a bereaved woman who boards a flight with her daughter. When the child vanishes and it’s claimed she was never on the flight, the audience is taken on a Hitchcockian ride of suspense.

7. Locke (2014)

Ivan Locke is an ordinary guy who receives a phone call that rocks his entire world. The film follows him as he drives from Birmingham to Croydon, while his life unravels before him, one phone call at a time. A spellbinding drama, Locke features Tom Hardy in the lead role, a perfect piece of casting by writer-director Steven Knight. A brilliant script and a truly memorable performance make this film set in a car completely mesmerising.

Locke (15) is out in UK cinemas from 18 April 2014.