Exam (2009)★★★☆☆


This movie had a lot of promise but did a lot of stupid things. In turn, its characters also did a lot of stupid things. It’s still a decent watch, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to get better – it won’t.

I did like the opening credits sequence though. While it wasn’t totally understated, it did a better job setting the tone and mood for the movie than any other part of the movie did. It’s also where the music really shines in this one, especially since it’s a bit overdone throughout the rest of the film.

In the tradition of Cube and Circle, a diverse group of folks are stuck together in a room. In this case, however, they’re all there by choice. It sounds interesting, and there’s definitely a story there, but this movie doesn’t really tell it.

Honestly, I felt like the first closing credit was seriously revealing: Written, directed, and produced by Stuart Hazeldine. It reads like one man’s story through and through, with no input from anyone else (you know, perhaps some constructive criticism?). There’s some weird exposition, including an M. Night Shyamalan-esque montage at the end to, I don’t know, punctuate the final reveal I guess? I hate that technique.

On the other hand, I do think that invigilator is a much better word than proctor, which just makes me think of proctologist. And I like Colin Salmon, who played the Invigilator in this one – and quite deftly, I might add. Overall this is a reasonably interesting movie that thinks it’s smarter than it is. There are some high tension moments and an okay payoff to them at the end, but only superficially. This is another one that might leave you with a lot of unanswered questions.