Circle (2015)

This is a very low budget movie, and very interesting concept.

Like Twelve Angry Men or The Man from Earth, this movie takes place in a single few hours in a single room with the same characters. The difference being, in this one, it’s life or death for everyone.

Fifty or so people wake up in a dark room, standing in a circle facing each other. They are also standing within a circle of their own, which they soon find out if they step out of, they will die. Additionally, every 5 minutes or so, one of the people in the room is zapped by lightning that comes from a black sphere in the center of the room, and they die.

It isn’t long before the people realize they are able to secretly vote, with a vote only they can see, on who will die next.

And that is the entire movie. A room of 50  people slowly killing each other and arguing over who deserves to die next. With only 5 minutes to choose between deaths, their reasoning is all very surface level and really highlights the prejudices we all have, and the automatic judgments we place on people.

I really enjoyed this movie, and love seeing this kind of thing. The less money or means you have to make something creative, the more creative you are forced to actually be. This movie would simply never have been made by a big studio with lots of money, whether they thought it would sell or not, it just would never occur to them to make something so simple. With no explosions or sex or creepy aliens or jumpscares. All it had was conversations, and it kept me stuck to the screen through it all.

Where the movie lacked though, was the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but the ending–though a fine ending in principle–was poorly executed.  I found it to be very telling, in a ‘rub it in your face to be sure you get it’ kind of way, and was a bit off putting after the smart movie I’d just watched. Treating your audience like they’re dumb is never a good idea.

I recommend this to anyone who was a fan of 12 Angry Men, or Last Man on Earth, or anyone who is a fan of the party game Mafia or Werewolf, it was a very interesting and unique movie, and I think you’ll enjoy it!

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