247°F has its moments and the performance from Scout Taylor-Compton – who I hope continues to rise as she is a talented young actress – saves the film from being a complete dud. This isn’t going to be for everybody but I suppose if you enjoyed Open Water, it might be up your alley, and otherwise it’s at best a rental.
Anchor Bay | R – 88 min. – $29.99 | October 23, 2012
Directed by: Levan Bakhia and Beqa Jguburia
Writer(s): Lloyd S. Wagner (screenplay)
Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Christina Ulloa, Travis Van Winkle, Michael Copon, Tyler Mane
Features: Commentary, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 21.1 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
247°F is an interesting, though ineffective, thriller that goes in one direction thinking it’s a film about revenge and then turns into another and becomes a half-decent flick about survival than anything else. I’ve seen it described in the same vein as Open Water.
The story begins with a prologue of the aftermath of a horrific car crash involving Jenna (SCOUT TAYLOR-COMPTON) in which her fiancée perishes. Fast forward 3 years and Jenna is still on the rebound but is persuaded by best friend Renee (CHRISTINA ULLOA) to come for a recreational retreat with her, boyfriend Michael (MICHAEL COPON) and his friend, Ian (TRAVIS VAN WINKLE).
It’s supposed to be a fun time that includes drinking and attending an exclusive party. Before the party, though, they decide to take some time relaxing in a steaming sauna with temps at 185 degrees Fahrenheit which is a nightmare for someone like me who hates hot weather. After spending some time inside, they go for a dip in the cold lake and go back in to heat back up at which point Michael, having too much to drink, storms out leaving the three inside. After some time, they want to get out but discover the door will not open and after some time, panic sets in.
Ian eventually manages to bust open a small window in the door and first tries to dislodge the object holding the door back (a small ladder) without success. At least now they have a bit of fresh air to breath. However, fear sets in that with the cooler air, the thermometer inside might think temps are lower and thus heat up the sauna to the designated 185 degrees. Now time is a factor as the three do anything and everything to get out but as the heat raises, so to tempers.
247°F is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I fully expected this to be your typical direct-to-video horror film that involves some sort of revenge plot (why else would Tyler Mane be in it?), but as the film continued on, it becomes clear that it’s a plot of circumstances than evil, malicious intent. And on that front, it might not be entirely effective – it got on the repetitive and boring side than thrilling – but still refreshing that it didn’t delve into horror clichés and lame motives.
For the cast part, I was mostly impressed with the three that had to spend the majority half-dressed and sweating throughout, not to mention constantly pounding on the walls, screaming and/or act as if they’re gasping for air. While the others, including Tyler Mane and Michael Copon, didn’t have much character development going for them (Copon’s character was a douche bag, though), Scout Taylor-Compton on the other hand does well with a bit more development and gives a fine performance that really saves the film from being below average.
The film was co-directed by Levan Bakhia making his debut and for a limited premise, I thought he did fine even though the intensity couldn’t be kept up for 80-minutes. What I did like, though, is that these trapped characters acted in a realistic fashion rather than making inane and dim mistakes (the same can’t be said for the Michael character, however).
247°F is an average movie with some decent performances and an at least interesting premise that runs, sorry for this, out of steam towards the end. Even so, this might make for a worthy rental but nothing more than one viewing.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
Audio Commentary – Producer/Co-Director Levan Bakhia provides an OK, if not rambling, track talking about everything from the credits, opening sequence, shooting locations and the characters. It’s not bad but can get a bit dry and having someone else in the room would’ve help liven things up.
Deleted Scenes (4:15; HD) – There are a short selection of scenes that were cut down or completely cut from the final film. There’s nothing of note in these.
Previews – Chained, The Day, The Victim
VIDEO – 4.25/5
247°F heats up on Blu-ray with a 1080p HD transfer and presented in 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. The picture mostly looks clean and free of any flaws such as artifacting but also is doesn’t have much grain or noise either (perhaps due to shooting digitally). It’s not a picture that looks incredible, still the detail levels are impressive.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc comes with a bombastic Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. The dialogue levels sound pretty good especially since most of the movie takes place in a sauna but there’s some directionality when someone is talking off-screen. However, I must say, the bass kicks on and into overdrive during one sequence, so much that my entire room shook, it’s probably the most intense LFE channel that I’ve come across in a while.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, 247°F has its moments and the performance from Scout Taylor-Compton – who I hope continues to rise as she is a talented young actress – saves the film from being a complete dud. This isn’t going to be for everybody but I suppose if you enjoyed Open Water, it might be up your alley, and otherwise it’s at best a rental.