Blu-ray Review: 247°F
Review by Marc Patterson
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A group of young adults takes to the woods for a weekend. They rent out a cabin from a surly old fellow, drink, party, drink some more, swim in a lake at midnight, and then die off slowly one by one. If this sounds like a hundred other brainless horror films then get ready for one more. Only this time, instead of crazy rednecks with chainsaws and meat hooks the weapon of choice is… (ready for this?)… a sauna. Yes, that’s right, a sauna. You know, the small wooden sweat box you take to in order to relax? Yup. That one. Pretty tense huh? Well, get ready to strip nude and hop into this lockbox of death. But hey, at least we get locked in said sauna with Scout Taylor-Comton. Ooh la la!
247°F opens the way any good cliche-ridden horror film should, with a car accident. This accident leaves Jenna (Taylor-Compton) as the emotionally damaged victim who will set the somber tone for the remainder of the film. It was her boyfriend/fiance/whatever/who cares that got killed in the car at what must have seemed the peak of their young lust. It’s now three years later and it would appear that Jenna hasn’t moved on, like at all. Who said youth were resilient? Fuckin’ kid needs a goddamned shrink for this kind of head damage. I digress. Jenna decides a good weekend of fun in the sun is in order and she, along with her friend Renee (Christina Ulloa), meets up with Renee’s frat trash boyfriend Ian (Travis Van Winkle), and his running mate Michael (Michael Copon), AKA the excessive drunkard.
Our merry quartet, in four part harmony, hops on a boat and zips across the lake to the glorious cabin that awaits them. Then they party. At some point they decide to hop in the sauna. Whahoo! Finally we get to the plot device that has promised to deliver some sweaty thrills. But no. Not yet. First, our cast gets bored of the monotony of sitting half naked in a box and quickly departs for the cool lake. Then they go back in the sauna, and then back in the lake. Are you catching a pattern? All the while the banter is pure drivel, the plot is literally going nowhere, and not a single character has an ounce of depth to their being, not even Jenna, the presumed to be “final girl”. Finally they get drunk enough that they manage to lock themselves in the sauna and then the action starts. But not really. And folks, at this point there’s still a good forty minutes left of this feature.
I’m not going to give anything more away. I’ve made my point. 247°F is a ridiculously tedious exercise in superfluous repetitiveness. I was bored to tears after only a few minutes and cried even more when I realized I wasn’t even close to halfway through this fumbling mess. The Blu-ray jacket calls 247°F a ‘blistering thriller.’ While it blistered my brain, it wasn’t in a thrilling kind of way. More like the searing sort of torturous agony you’d beg not to be subjected to. It’s the sort of device that might be used to to coerce kidnappers to give up their hostages and surrender. Lest I have nothing good to say about this film I will commend it for being visually pleasing. Whoever the location scout was kicked some serious ass. The film was also shot and edited well, making this an overall technically accomplished feature. Unfortunately the talent was wasted with a poor script and superficial plot, making this one a film I’d recommending passing by.
Extras on the Blu-ray are shockingly substantial all considered. There’s an audio commentary with producer/director Levan Bakhia that I didn’t bother with, but was impressed that he did. Then there were some deleted scenes. However, I could have probably suggested a few more.
247°F hits DVD and Blu-ray on October 23 from Anchor Bay Films.