June 17, 2014

SUMMER OF BLOOD, Day 17: 247 Degrees Fahrenheit (2011)

Directed by Levan Bakhia and Beqa Jguburia. Starring Scout Taylor-Compton ("Jenna"), Christina Ulloa ("Renee"), Travis Van Winkle ("Ian"), and Michael Copon ("Michael"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Anchor Bay/Starz)
Running time: 01:27:38
Country: USA, Georgia

If you're a fan of Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN movies, I guess 247 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT is notable for starring Scout Taylor-Compton and Tyler Mane, who play Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, respectively, in Zombie's remakes. Here, Scout plays Jenna - an emotional young woman who's mourning the loss of her fiance, who she watched die in a car crash. Attempting to pull Jenna out of her emotional rut, her friend Renee drags her along on a weekend getaway with her boyfriend and tries to set her up with a guy named Ian.

The 247... I mean, uh, 6 degrees of horror remakes doesn't just end with Scout T.C. and Mr. Mane. Ian is played by Travis Van Winkle, who played the ultimate douchebag in the FRIDAY THE 13TH reboot. Fortunately, he's not nearly as unlikable in this. But anyway, the characters all end up staying at a lakeside cabin that belongs to Ian's uncle (played by Tyler Mane). Their first night there is to be spent partying it up at some local festival, but for whatever reason they decide to kick off the festivities by sitting in the cabin's sauna for a little while. That ends up being a huge mistake, but I'll get to that shortly.

Sitting in a sauna seems like an odd thing to do right before you're about to go to a huge party, but the characters here seem to think it's a good idea. I know I'd personally be annoyed if thoughts of partying and heavy-boozing were racing through my head and all of a sudden someone decided it would be a good idea to relax and unwind first. Fuck that! In past experiences, that usually leads to "Hey, maybe we should just stay in tonight and hang out", thus ruining your chance of getting rejected by girls and waking up the next day with minimal recollection of what transpired. In other words, not the ideal pre-game ritual, so I didn't feel too bad for these jokers when they eventually found themselves locked in the sauna and unable to escape.

The first two idiots in the sauna are Ian and Renee's boyfriend. So basically you have two hunks who are half naked and ripped to shreds, breathing heavily and sitting in awkward silence except for the occasional comment about how hot it is. That said, if you're into unintentional homoeroticism, 247 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT delivers. If you're not into that, don't worry. The girls eventually join the festivities and proceed to spend the rest of the movie glistening in sweat while wearing nothing but their britches.

For reasons that are explained in the film, not only are the characters locked in the sauna, but the temperature increases significantly as well. It ends up being a race against time for the characters to break out of the sauna before they die of dehydration or whatever. There's also the fact that Jenna has her own issues that come into play throughout the film, so she's inclined to panic a lot more than the others.

I don't have much to say about this one. It's OK. The biggest disappointment, for me, is that it doesn't have as much suspense as I was hoping for. There aren't enough clever or creative things happening in the film to keep you on the edge of your seat. For the most part, it really is just these characters trapped in a sauna without much hope of getting out. There are a couple of occasions where the proverbial carrot is dangled in front of the characters, only to be yanked away before they realize it's even there. But, ultimately, I think the writers could've maybe worked on this sauna scenario a little more. Apparently it's based on a true story, so if the filmmakers wanted to stick to the path of truth as much as possible, that's fine. But sometimes it doesn't always translate so well into an intriguing story. The filmmakers had a lot of opportunities to play with this scenario and create a really claustrophobic and uncomfortable atmosphere, but I felt 247 DEGREES was lacking in that respect. To me, it just felt like I was watching a bunch of young oiled-up actors with water sprayed on them, panting like they were thirsty and occasionally crying. Not much believability there. But overall, despite its flaws, I think it's definitely worth a watch if you're in the mood for something short and light. It's watchable at the very least.

Score: 6


  1. I'm a fan of this concept! It's crazy how many good horror movie Set ups could just as easily be porn plots! "Well I guess we are stuck in here may as well.."

    The Thing with a small one set piece movie like this is your actors better come Through other wise it's just folks standing around saying stuff.

    I'm still going to give it a look but I'm going to proceed with caution.

  2. Yeah man, worth a watch for sure! Let me know what you think. I'm a fan of the single-setting thriller too.