film reel image

film reel image

Friday, February 2, 2024

Circle 2015 * * 1/2 Stars


2015's Circle represented a new breed of horror almost ten years ago. Even seeing it now for the first time I was taken aback. Fifty people who are virtual strangers are held captive in God knows where, standing on platforms, unable to move, and being offed one by one by way of the other's vote. So yeah, if you like a Saw and/or The Menu wannabe that kind of holds back on the bloodshed, then Circle will at times creep you out with its remorselessness and uh, lack of fellowship with. "Stop, don't move. They can see us". Yeesh!

No actual flashback, one set location, and characters that bicker back and forth like in a Real Housewives reunion show, Circle is a rinse, repeat of mere mortals biting the dust by way of some lightning-like, electric beam. Ugh. I mean it happens a lot, going on and on until 3 are left. Heck, you never see the antagonist, just some dome acting as murderous Big Brother every few minutes or so. Man it must stink to get drugged and kidnapped in sunny LA (the film's concealed setting).

So OK, is Circle well-acted despite its cast of surly unknowns? I think so. A lot of dialogue-driven scenes crackle and are raw regardless of a script by two writers that sort of recycles itself. And does Circle unfortunately leave the viewer with a plot containing a few dangling loose ends? Oh fo sho. Why are the men and women (good and bad) getting killed in an order that comes off more as a conundrum than a solution? And what's with the ending that is murky and not left behind for enough interpretation? And uh, why are these people even being held as internees by some evil Oz behind the curtain in the first place? Questions, questions, questions. So much for coming full "circle".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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