We are all aware that horror is an immensely popular and profitable genre, hence the number of straight-to-video releases that line the shelves on a weekly basis. This has resulted in the horror genre being viewed as a quick cash-in for many studios and these cheaply made, fast-turnover movies have seen the increase of two particular subgenres: the oft-maligned found footage film (Paranormal Activity, REC, Grave Encounters etc.) and the trapped-in-a-single-location film (Frozen, Buried, Open Water etc.) and, with a few exceptions, you can generally assume that these films will be predictable and generally pretty tedious. 247°F falls into the latter category and even up against its barrel-scraping counterparts this is a pitifully dull film.
247°F opens with a car crash where Jenna (Scout Taylor-Compton) loses her boyfriend; I guess this is to explain as to why she’s so moody and withdrawn as it serves very little function as to the rest of the narrative, which soon moves us forward 3 years where we catch up with Jenna and three friends as they head out to spend the weekend at a lakeside cabin. Jenna is obviously still recovering from her accident and her friend Renee (Christina Ulloa) has decided it would do her good to get away and rather unsubtly be set up with her boyfriend Michael’s (Michael Copon) sporting buddy Ian (Travis Van Winkle). The cabin belongs to Ian’s mildly creepy uncle Wade (Tyler Mane) and is suitably secluded and remote, as you’d expect from such a film. The question is, what is awaiting our irritating young co-eds? Is it rednecks? Chainsaw wielding maniacs? Nope, it’s a sauna. This film is about getting trapped in a sauna. Now just think about that for a second… bored yet? Well, imagine 90 minutes of it and you’re not even close to how mind-numbing this film is.
For a while we get some inane banter whilst Jenna and company have a few beers, get into the sauna, go swimming, get back into the sauna, go swimming again, then finally get back into the sauna yet again. Michael ends up getting wasted and inadvertently locking the other three in. We then have a very long period of time where everyone is fairly hysterical and shouting and whatnot, but there is absolutely zero tension and even less scares. What is most frustrating, however, is just how fucking ridiculous and unfeasible the whole thing is. Obviously suspension of disbelief is at the core of being an appreciator of the horror genre, but there’s only so much you can take before you completely switch off and start wondering what to make for dinner, or hell, even if watching paint dry would be more entertaining. Even a host of nubile young stars in nothing but their skivvies wears thin after about two seconds as they spout inane dialogue and generally get on your last nerve. What’s even worse is that there aren’t even any grizzly deaths to break up the inanity; I don’t want to give too much of a spoiler (not that anyone gives a shit) but barely any of the characters die! 247°F is a giant steaming turd of a film that is as dull as it is forgettable. One to avoid at all costs.
247°F is released to DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on 18th March, from Anchor Bay.