31 Days of Horror: Film #24 CIRCLE
Sometimes you don’t need to see a trailer, learn about a film’s cast, or hear any kind of buzz about a movie to decide whether you want to see it or not. Sometimes a single sentence describing the film is enough to convince you if the movie is for you.
Circle is about 50 people that have been abducted by aliens, put into a circle in a dark room, and forced to decide on the single person among them that deserves to live. Huh. Okay. Cool. I was interested. I hit play.
The 50 people find themselves in a circle that looks a bit like a neon roulette wheel. At the center of the circle is a black sphere. If you step off your place of the circle, you die. If you touch anyone else in the circle, you die. The people are forced to vote every two minutes for the next person to go. If no one is elected to die every two minutes, someone dies at random. As for how people die, the black sphere takes care of that.
Instead of trying to really figure out the situation (no one ever thought to throw something at the sphere, attempt to break the circle in some way?), the 50 people spend more time debating on who deserves to live and who deserves to die. They turn on each other, make sides, and reveal their prejudices and darker selves.
It’s an interesting movie but it’s not entirely successful. At the start I was sure that it was going to be a new, cult favorite. However, it’s unable to sustain itself for the full 87 minutes. By the time an hour is up, Circle feels like an endless version of Survivor’s Tribal Council. The idea is cool, it's just not enough. It needed an extra ingredient in there somewhere, maybe.
Circle is a tough film to recommend. Just the same, I’d never tell anyone to skip it, either. It’s different and that counts for something.
To be honest, Circle is more science fiction than it is horror. I saw it with a horror tag, so that's why I watched it now and put it on this list. I figure it fits in well enough, though.
Circle is now available to stream on Netflix in the US.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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