October 19, 2012

Filthy Review - '247°F'

247°F (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

As is often the case, Rob Zombie’s version of Halloween had as many detractors as it did fans. Personally I enjoyed it, although I didn’t care for the sequel, and I do believe that Scout Taylor-Compton put in a decent performance as Laurie Strode. She didn’t try and copy the performance that was made so famous by Jamie Lee Curtis, which would have been pointless, instead put a different perspective on the role. This brings me around to 247°F, which is the first film that I have seen her star in since Halloween 2, so I will admit to being fairly hopefully. The fact that her Halloween co-star, Tyler Mane, also starred was cool to see as well.

The plot of this Georgia (Country not the State) lensed movie takes us down a well-travelled dirt road, the same one many horror flicks do, in which a group of kids find themselves in an isolated location and then the shit hits the fan. The location in point here is an island retreat, where Jenna (Taylor-Compton), Renee, Ian and Michael have all travelled to for a short break. They’ve gone there just before the tourist season starts, just so you can rest assured that it will be nice and quiet, without fear of rescue. The only other resident is Wade (Mane), and his pet dog, who is there to get things ready for the tourist invasion.

Whilst there the four kids spend their time alternating between the sauna and then cooling down in the nearby lake, basically having a good old time. On one such visit to the sauna the door inexplicably won’t open, which leaves three of the kids stuck inside; Michael having wandered off, as he looks to sleep off his alcohol binge.

So, you have three kids stuck in a sauna, which could make for a tense and exciting movie. I said could, because it doesn’t. Instead, what we get is lots of bitching and moaning between the three, with only Michael trying to do much about it. He is also, for reasons unknown, a font of knowledge when it comes to saunas, thermostats and the human body.

247°F, where Every Degree Matters, could have taken one of two routes as a movie, with the first being a schlocky horror flick in which bodies melt and the blood boils. The second route could have been to make a tense and frightening movie in which the sense of claustrophobia and intense heat make the film uncomfortable to watch. Sadly, we get neither.

The film has far too many soft fades to black, the feeling of overwhelming heat is never portrayed convincingly enough and Taylor-Compton is really left with too little to do. The film never gets too gruesome and the dialogue is often painful to listen to. If I had to find some positives from the movie I would say that Tyler Mane seems to be having fun in his role, and Travis Van Winkle, who was as annoying as hell in the Friday the 13th remake, put in a solid performance here. Scout Taylor-Compton, despite having the lead role and being top-billed, is unfortunately left with little to do, even though she is the only character with any real back-story.

However, the writing and direction of 247°F is bland, to the point of being lazy. It seems that no real effort was put into making the situation, in which the kids find themselves, to be in the least bit scary. Too much reliance is put on the audience to feel their pain, which pretty much just involves sweating a lot and feeling faint.

As for the situation itself, I am pretty sure you will work out what happened long before it is revealed, but even if you don’t I am fairly sure you will be long passed caring.

Instead of being a hot and uncomfortable thriller, 247°F ends up being an incredibly tepid affair which I can’t really recommend.

247°F is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Anchor Bay on October 23rd.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting another great review, Jude. I went online and rented this movie just before leaving my office at DISH on Friday afternoon. It had downloaded to my Hopper DVR, ready to watch, by the time I got home. I read the description before I rented this movie, and I was expecting some thing like 127 Hours. Instead I found a film that lacked both the tension and claustrophobia of 127 Hours. I thought 247 F really fell flat, and I wouldn’t even suggest a rental.