Saturday, 26 February 2011

Film Review: CIRCLE OF EIGHT (2009)

Director: Stephen Cragg
Running time: 84 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Mystery/Drama
UK release date: Straight to DVD

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 26th February 2011.


From the description on the TV guide, this looked like it might be interesting. Unfortunately you cannot believe everything you read. The concept was quite good, however, the execution didn’t match up by a long chalk. I’ll explain what I mean later, but here’s a brief summary first (summary haters and those that don’t wish to know anything about the plot please help Jessica move in while I write the next paragraph).

Jessica is moving into her first apartment in the big city (Los Angeles in this case). Driving through the streets she’s full of optimism and looking forward to her new surroundings. Outside the building, the Dante, she meets Evan, an attractive young man who helps her with her stuff. The building manager, Ed, is a bit odd, but likable enough, although he’s a bit particular about tenants going into his ‘File Room’. Having moved in, Jessica is then visited by several of the other occupants, an odd bunch to say the least. They are all very insistent that she joins them for a roof-top party to celebrate the New Year. And then strange things begin to happen, Jessica begins to see the other residents murdered, one by one. Nobody seems concerned about this and so she goes to Evan to try and get some answers. I’ll leave it there and I’ve probably made it sound a lot better than it really is.

This film has the look and feel of a student short that got made into a feature. It all seems very amateurish, everything from the cinematography, to the sound, to the acting seems to have had little thought to it. Nobody on screen really deserves a mention, but I will name a few so you’ll know who’s responsible. If anything, John Bishop was the best performer as Ed, but he wasn’t great, Ryan Doom (great name!) was adequate as Evan and Austin Highsmith was ok, I guess, as Jessica.

I feel I’ve been a little generous with my score (below), but the concept behind this very poor film was actually quite good. The trouble is, little, or no, thought went into the execution. Maybe some of it could be blamed on budget restrictions, but I’ve seen much better than this made for a lot less. I think you can probably guess what comes next… definitely NOT recommended… You have been warned.

My score: 4.1/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
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