The survival movie has become a staple of horror films in the past 10 years or so. Whether it be people trapped in the ocean (Open Water), on a ski lift (Frozen), in a coffin (Buried), in a bathroom (Saw), an apartment building ([rec] & Quarantine) or even a man made maze (Cube). Just when you think they might be running out of places to trap people in, along comes 247°F, which finds three friends trapped in of all things, a steam room.
Jenna (Scout Taylor-Compton), Renee (Christina Ulloa), Ian (Travis Van Winkle) and Michael (Michael Copon) are taking a holiday at Ian’s uncle Wade’s (Tyler Mane) cabin. Unfortunately, Jenna, Renee and Ian get trapped in Wade’s custom built sauna with the temperature rising while Michael passes out drunk in the cabin. The three get pushed to their physical and mental limits as they struggle to survive while trying to find a way out of the sweltering prison. When they break a window out in an attempt to escape, the thermostat adjusts for the cool air and cranks up the heat. The question is how long they can survive the heat?
The premise of 247°F is an intriguing one, but unfortunately, it never quite reaches the suspenseful heights one might expect. The acting is good, especially by Taylor-Compton and a surprisingly likable Tyler Mane. But in a survival horror, they stakes have to be continually ratcheted up to keep the suspense building, and 247°F just seems to never hit that mark. There is still some fun to be had here, this is a fun little film, but it feels like the writers of the film never really figured out what the final act should encompass, instead settling for a rather anticlimactic finale. So don’t get your expectations up, but you shouldn’t be too disappointed either.
The Blu-ray from Anchor Bay is decent. A good chunk of the movie takes place in the actual sauna, and while in there the detail and clarity is good, but the constant steam does wash out the film a little bit. Still, nice natural tones and good close up detail keep the film looking better than its budget should have allowed. A decent little flick that doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of suspense, 247°F is not bad, but extremely middle of the road.