Thursday, December 23, 2010

Circle of Eight


TITLE: Circle of Eight
SCORE: 1.5 out of 4

First and foremost there is the fact that the studio that made this is named "Mt Dew Green Label Studios" and that Paramount is most likely just distributing this film. Not knowing what to expect from this film at all, I begin worrying I am about to watch an 83 minute Mountain Dew commercial repackaged for my consumption as "horror." How horrifying! Well, as the Dew is extreme, so is this movie - which remains unrated (as far as I can tell).

The first few minutes of it happen to be a sort of music video -- and a terrible one! Jessica, while adequately performed by Austin Highsmith, is still a weak and hackneyed Mary Sue character in which to project all our fears and anxieties on to, with little or any actual personality of her own. She soon meets her neighbors when she moves into a new apartment on New Year's Eve. Oh, and the apartment complex has a "file room" no one is allowed to go in to. And, you guessed it, all the neighbors are crazy (and there's eight of them)! Or is Jessica the crazy one? Who knows? Who cares...

No one knows anything, everyone is an unreliable narrator/crazy person and no one is very likable, so the emotional commitment I had for the characters was less than zero, I definitely rooted for all of them to die. The dialogue is atrocious and delivered with all the ability of high school drama team flunk-outs. I expect this out of a low-budget horror film but this really stood out to me.

The film is an utter pain to watch; its a dismal and unconvincing drama followed by some tiresome and unfunny comedic scenes followed by psychological "twists." This is a movie that trades in a brisk pace for an attempt at building suspense and mood, and it utterly fails. The mood is irritating rather than entrancing and the suspense is sporadic rather than building. Throughout the second half a bunch of random bonkers stuff happens, so at least that's kind of entertaining.

The pitiful twists and turns are as predictable and tame as a Made-for-TV movie. Perhaps it was, the production value is certainly no higher than one (a cheap one). You should all go rent Shredder Orpheus, its a cheap movie that rules. Its nothing like this movie, but for some reason I was wishing I was was watching it the whole time I was watching this fairly unenjoyable film.