247°F (2012) Review

Directed by: Levan Bakhia, Beqa Jguburia
Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Christina Ulloa, Travis Van Winkle

Imagine being trapped in a sauna while the heat steadily climbs and to make things worse nobody outside actually knows where you are. That would be terrible right? In fact it would probably be almost as bad as having to sit through this movie.

If you want to know the plot well I've pretty much just summed it up in the previous paragraph. Three friends (Compton, Ulloa & Van Winkle) staying at a holiday house get trapped inside a sauna. A fourth friend awakens from a drunken stupor and thinks that his pals have left for the party they were planning on attending, so he’s no help. The owner of the cabin is away making preparations for said party so he’s no help either. As the heat rises and the supply of bottled water runs out the trapped trio start losing their shit as they realize that nobody is coming for them. The sauna is a sturdy building made out of trees and the door simply won’t budge, and the only window is a tiny porthole with enough room to stick an arm out. What to do then? Cue a lot of yelling, screaming, crying etc.

Lots of movies have tried to tackle the idea of filming almost solely in a single isolated location, and with varying success. A good example of a success would be the recent film BURIED with Ryan Reynolds, and while I was not a huge fan of it (mostly because I can’t stand Reynolds) I couldn't deny that the filmmakers did a fantastic job of handling a movie that is set entirely in a fucking coffin. That’s a coffin. Buried underground. With one person in it. You’d think a sauna with three people in it would be no problem then, right? Well apparently not.

247°F is in my opinion much too long and would have been much more effective as a shorter film with less filler. The start of the movie (before the whole sauna incident happens) drags on for way too long and even when these three characters are trapped, the film insists on showing scenes happening outside which really have no bearing on the plot.
Also there is a weak subplot embedded in there somewhere which really has no impact at all.

Making the characters as annoying as they are just makes things worse. I didn't know this but apparently the best way to escape from a sauna is to bitch and argue and fight with each other, or at least that’s what these three think of as the best idea. If I were in the sauna with them I would be welcoming death with open arms.

But it’s not all bad news. There are a few exciting parts although they are few and far between, and the film at least looks good. As far as the acting goes it’s not award winning but it’s decent for what’s needed here. I know it seems like I may be tearing this movie to shreds but there is definitely an audience for 247°F. If your idea of fun is watching a half-naked Scout Taylor-Compton sweat it up in a sauna with another girl and a guy then by all means go ahead. Similarly if you’re in the market for a movie which doesn't require much brain power to process then this will suffice. Personally I was just really disappointed because I thought the concept had more potential than this, and it’s not something I plan on watching again. Having said that however, there have been plenty of worse movies this year so at least there’s that to hold on to.

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