Circle is a Video On Demand (VOD) psychological thriller from writer/directors Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione and like many of the best thrillers, the set up is quite simple.
50 people find themselves in an inwardly facing circle in a room together and every two minutes one of them is electrocuted by a machine in the centre of the room. They’re not really sure why they’re there or what’s happening but they come to realise that they can vote for who is going to die next…
I’m not going to spoil the film for you but what follows is an edge of your seat thriller that aims to showcase the best and worst of humanity as the 50 people act as judge, jury and executioner for each other – working out the rules as they go.
It’s hard to go into specifics without ruining things but I was very impressed with how Circle turned out. The way characters reacted and argued seemed natural and organic – it went in a way that didn’t feel forced and at the same time surprised me in the directions it took. The cast are all virtual unknowns (the only person I recognised was Julie Benz of Buffy and Angel fame), which made it all the more impressive that no-one was bad. Admittedly most characters get little to no back-story but even so, solid to good performances all round and none that distracted from the film.
If I had to pick fault, it would be that the voting sometimes seemed unlikely. Every so often you’d get a character who was begging for some group justice and yet they went a different way. That said, whilst I didn’t agree, I found myself wondering if maybe other people would….
And that’s really the strength of the film; what would you do in their position? How would you vote? What should you do? This is the first feature from Hann and Miscione, who I plan to keep an eye on in the future and their début, with a little touching up here and there, could easily have been a theatrical release and is well worth your time on VOD.
Available to buy on iTunes now or to rent from the 23rd of October and also available on Netflix in the US.
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