Monday, May 11, 2015

Circle (SIFF 2015) - Movie Review

Circle is a science fiction horror movie written and directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione who previously worked together on the 2013 mystery thriller TV show, The Vault. The movie stars Julie Benz, Carter Jenkins, Cesar Garcia, Mercy Malick, Michael Nardelli, Sara Sanderson, and Lisa Pelikan.

The Story:
Fifty strangers wake up to realize they are trapped inside a large chamber, forced to stand in place, and given the power to vote for their survival by choosing which person will be systematically executed next by a mysterious force at the center of the circle. Thus begins a game of morals, ethics, ingenuity, and wit between people of all ages and backgrounds to see who will ultimately survive this race against time and each other.

The Review:
When I sat down to watch this movie, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, the story and set up are pretty straight forward and reminded me a little of another indie horror project from a few years ago called The Human Race although I wasn't sure if this story would be strong enough to hold up as a feature film. Fortunately, Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione have put together a tension filled drama that is very evenly paced and definitely keeps you on your toes. There were only a few times where I was like, yeah that person's about to go but, other than that, they definitely kept me guessing by playing just about every card they could.

The cast of 50 actors and actresses tasked with making this movie come to life all did a fine job in their roles and the overall diversity of the group automatically allowed for some good exploration of the human condition like when does race, gender, age, and morality come into play when determining who should live and who should die. Realistically, these are never questions we as individuals should ever have to answer and the real trick to this movie is watching alliances form, fall apart, and then restructure based on who is left standing.

The Verdict:
I wouldn't say that Circle is a scary movie at all so I'm not sure if it qualifies as horror. but it definitely hits the mark as an intense and dramatic bit of science fiction that holds your attention with a great premise and solid writing. A must see for any fan of science fiction and overall a movie I would recommend to just about anyone.

CLICK HERE to see when you can watch Circle.
CLICK HERE to see my picks from the 2015 SIFF lineup.


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