247°F DVD Review

247°F, a low-budget thriller supposedly “based on true events”, is a chore. Directed by Levan Bakhia and Beqa Jguburia (I hadn’t heard of them either), it is about three American twenty somethings trapped in a sauna.

The concept seems to be triggered by a film called Frozen in 2010, where twenty somethings are left hanging overnight on a chairlift in a ski resort.

247°Fs filmmakers clearly thought “okay let’s do that, but the opposite of cold, where females can expose their breasts, bonus.” Chris Kentis’ 2003 film Open Water, where two divers were left strandad in the middle of the ocean, probably sparked this trend of minimalist thrillers.

A generic young trio left in a confined space to melt to death then, is hardly an original concept. The title sequence presents a tragic back story – Jenna, (Scout Taylor-Compton, Halloween) and husband Jamie are in a car crash straight after their wedding reception and Jamie is killed, while the bride is trapped in the wreck with him for hours. Three years on and Jenna is still struggling, becoming a recluse and having to take a daily pill for what seems like anti-psychotic reasons.

Her friend Renee (Christina Ulloa, Charmed) attempts to bring her back into the social world and invites her for a weekend break to a lakeside cabin (there is no chance of any genre boundaries being tested) for the weekend.  Renee’s token-mysogynistic-jock boyfriend Michael (Michael Copon, One Tree Hill) and his single mate Ian,  (Travis Van Winkle, Transformers) naturally the more sensitive of the two, join them.

The cabin owner, also Ian’s uncle (played by X-Men’s Sabertooth, Tyler Mane), is an attempt to divert the viewer into thinking this film has a killer. Has he planned the whole thing? Is the alcohol he has ploughed them with laced with something sinister? He accompanies for dinner before venturing off somewhere. Michael ends up passed out on a sofa, drunk and stoned, whilst the rest are left to develop cabin fever.

Christina Ulloa’s Renee is incredibly irritating and spouts clunky and unrealistic dialogue in a poorly acted fashion. Scout Taylor-Compton gives an equally pathetic performance as Jenna whimpers and panics constantly. Michael Copon isn’t as unbearable as Ian attempts to calm the shrieking hysterics of his companions and generates reasonable ideas of how to escape.

There was some potential here for mindless entertainment. The result however, is a film that misses any chance it had to be even vaguely fun. It isn’t tense, shocking or horrifying either. Open Water had sharks at least, and Frozen had wolves, but 247°F has nothing to relieve the audience from the diabolical dialogue and the abundance of cliches to create any fire for excitement purposes. There is also no melting skin, which is not only boring but also very unrealistic if the apparent temperature is anything to go by. All hard copies of this film should be condemned to meet the fiery death that most of its cast unfortunately managed to avoid.

1/5

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and subtitles in English and Spanish. Extras consist of a commentary by producer-director Levan Bakhia and some deleted scenes. Released in the UK 15th March.

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