Movie #100 2020: Circle (2015)

As you may or may not know, when I began writing The Quayside Review, my target was to watch 100 movies across the course of 2020. Well, here we are, already at the one hundredth movie! But not to worry. Because I’ve gone so ridiculously insane on films, I’ve adjusted my target to 250 new movies so that the site doesn’t become derelict for the next 8 and a half months!

I don’t know if any of you care or even want to read on, but this is something that I’ve really enjoyed doing, and I’d like to continue whether there’s an audience or not. So here we go with Circle, a horror/thriller from 2015.

WARNING: This review contains spoilers.

Where I have to begin with this one is the end. Sounds strange, but listen: the ending is bad. It leaves the viewer so unsatisfied that I wasn’t even angry about it. What it left me with was just a blank stare. There’s no explanation as to why any of the events that occurred happened in the first place, no reveal of who started this whole thing, and no real exploration into why these specific people were chosen. It’s just not a complete movie.

Luckily, the events leading up to its disappointing inclusion are this movie’s saving grace.

Within ten minutes, I was hooked. It is such a good concept – whilst obviously drawing inspiration from Saw and 12 Angry Men – that I was gripped. I wanted to find out who would survive. I wanted to figure out what the hell was going on, just as the characters within it were. I wanted to find out why. (As I’ve said, I never found out. But it was fun to speculate regardless).

I’m absolutely baffled about why Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) was chosen to star in this. She is the only actor in it that I actually recognised, and it would have been just as easy to cast an unknown in her role. However, the fact that they ensured that most well-known character didn’t survive was a good choice. From the word go, I assumed it would be Benz that survived. So it was a nice surprise that the directors (Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione) managed to prove me wrong.

What struck me the most was how relevant this was in today’s climate. Of course, it was extremely ‘on-the-nose’ to watch a movie about who lives and who dies considering the global situation at the moment, but it is such a ridiculous, unreal concept that it was just far enough away from that that it didn’t make me feel guilty for watching it.

Circle should, under no circumstances, be chosen above Saw. But if you’ve seen all of those movies like I have, this is a decent choice to fill any horror void.

Circle is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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