247°F (2011)

So, I don’t know…I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s been really hot this month and last, so I felt like this was an appropriate film choice to express how I’ve been feeling lately.

(Spoilers ahead, probably.) On the one hand, this scenario is basically my personal hell. Trapped in a sauna with no phone, with no way to hydrate myself or keep cool, and with three really boring people? Nope nope nope.

So this movie was particularly terrifying for me in that respect. About half way through watching I had to refill my water bottle (with cold water from the fridge, of course) and open the front door so the cool night air could get past it through the screen. Thankfully by then it had cooled down significantly outside so that actually made a difference.

On the other hand, this is basically a movie about a stoned drunk guy who traps his three friends in a sauna for several hours, only two of whom make it out alive, while he gets off with a bit of a hangover and a lot of guilt on his conscience. I don’t think I can get behind that.

Also, who builds a sauna without some sort of kill switch inside? Particularly one in a cabin in the middle of the woods? I feel like that’s just asking for trouble.

Otherwise, the acting was okay and the story was reasonably well paced — though the couple of teaser scenes in the sauna before they actually got trapped felt a bit contrived. Also I’m not entirely sure they needed the opening scene. It almost feels like a cheap ploy to set the mood.

This one gets a four out of five from me because it’s legitimately terrifying even though I’d have to be pretty stupid to find myself in a similar situation. It’s not that graphic except for a scene or two, and while there’s not that much character development (and few sympathetic characters), the premise is interesting enough to make this highly watchable.

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