5 Transformed by Lightning

In the 2009 sci-fi thriller film The Box, written and directed by Richard Kelly and based on the 1970 short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson, the subject of lightning strike injury is exploited to great artistic effect. The story, set in 1976, begins with the early morning arrival of a mysterious package on the doorstep of Virginia couple Norma (Cameron Diaz), a school teacher, and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden), a NASA engineer. Inside the package is a box-shaped device with a single red button on the top, accompanied by a note that reads: “Mr. Steward will call upon you at 5 pm.”1 Access to the button can only be achieved by means of a key, which is missing.

Mr. Steward (Frank Langella), a middle-aged man ...

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