#302 -- Circle (2010)
Rating: 2 / 5
I'll be honest. Going into this, I didn't actually want to watch it. I wanted to watch something, I was resting comfortably in my bed, and I didn't feel like moving an inch; so I started searching through my On Demand. I looked over this one more than once, and I thought it seemed like it would be predictable, and I wasn't all that interested. But of all the movies I looked through, it looked the most promising -- which is pretty sad. Plus, I saw that Silas Mitchell was in it. I've come to really enjoy him, so that at least gave me some hope. But this is a case of having a lot of great things to work with but failing to create an outstanding product.
It's about a group of students that I assume were in college studying to become criminal psychologists. A class project sent them to the childhood home of a guy named Bennett (Mitchell). This guy had murdered five people, I think. He was arrested and sent to a psychiatric hospital. The students' assignment was to stay in the house for the weekend to get a feel for how Bennett thought; to get a peek inside the mind of a serial killer. They also hoped to find something that the police overlooked, so that they could get some major brownie points. But little did they know, Bennett had escaped from the institution, and was making his way back home.
The very basic premise sounds an awful lot like Halloween, but don't expect it to be a rip-off, because it's not. I think that these people might have been inspired by Halloween, but it's actually nothing like it. There was a back-story on Bennett that I didn't really understand. He had arranged all of his victims in a half-circle, because that's the shape of an eyeball and apparently the Greeks thought that would...be really cool. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, or maybe my volume was too low, but I actually have no idea what Bennett's deal was. The movie followed a couple of cops trying to find him, and to figure out exactly what it was he was doing so they could prevent him from doing it again. They found, in his room at the institute, that he'd drawn all sorts of symbols on the walls. The doctor said that she'd been interpreting it, and that she'd sent her notes over to the cops; but in the end, she decided not to share them, so we never got to learn what it all meant. I'm not sure what the point of all that was, other than to prove that Bennett wasn't an idiot, because he certainly seemed that way to begin with. I think the idea was interesting enough, but there wasn't enough explanation to make it work. I had a problem with the way the cops operated, as well. When they figured out a key point to Bennett's story, the audience wasn't clued in at all. There was no lead-up and no allowing us to figure it out along with them. Suddenly, they knew something, and we just had to accept it. The problem was that it didn't make enough sense for me to accept.
Though I obviously had some issues with the movie, I do think it had some good things going for it. First of all, the actors. Most of them I had never heard of, but they all worked really well together, particularly the policeman and the female FBI agent. I was kind of disappointed with Silas Mitchell, though. I don't fault him for it at all, but I feel like he was downplayed. Since he was the main reason I even watched the movie, I felt like there should have been more for him to do. His character hardly ever spoke, and when he did, he spoke in Greek. He wasn't creepy at all; he just sort of sulked off-screen and we hardly even saw him. He is such a talented actor, and I don't think they used his talents to the fullest extent. It took way too long for him to actually kill anyone, and when he did it was either off-screen or so excruciatingly forgettable that it was upsetting. I was hoping to see him play a bad ass serial killer who seriously fucked shit up, but I didn't get that at all. There were absolutely no memorable kills and practically no blood and gore to speak of. Oh yeah, back to the good stuff. I think the movie definitely looked good. It wasn't mind-blowing, but it didn't look homemade either, which is always good. Silas wore these light blue/gray contacts that made his eyes really pretty, and sadly, that was the most memorable and exciting thing in the entire movie. I loved his eyes, and his hot brother had the same eyes; yum!
Overall, it was just an okay idea. It had some good things to work with, but nothing ever panned out. It was a bloodless and brainless movie that tried to be smart and scary; and it failed on both accounts.