DVD Review: 247°F

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Review: 247°F /Cert: 15 / Director: Levan Bakhia, Beqa Jguburia / Screenplay: Lloyd S. Wagner, Levan Bakhia / Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Travis Van Winkle, Christina Ulloa, Michael Copon / Release Date: Out Now

You’ll remember Open Water, in which a bunch of dumb teens go swimming and then realise they can’t get back on board their boat? Or how about Frozen, in which a bunch of dumb teens get stuck on a ski lift? Here we go again. In 247°F another pack of howlingly-imbecilic all-American airheads who really shouldn’t be allowed out of the house without adult supervision find themselves in a deeply improbable situation (although the movie’s opening credits remind us that what we’re about to endure is ‘based on true events’). But where Open Water had the thrill of our witless heroes stuck in the water terrorised by circling sharks and the numpties of Frozen had prowling hungry wolves to contend with, the trio of unfortunates here find themselves… well, stuck in a sauna. No sharks, no wolves and, in all honesty, not much real sense of threat and certainly none of the searing skin, burning lungs and boiling blood promised by the DVD cover.

Jenna (Taylor-Compton) is getting her life back on track three years after a road accident which killed her fiancé (even though the car we see them in doesn’t seem to be moving or indeed even have its engine running), so she joins her chum Renee (Ulloa), her jock booze hound boyfriend Michael (Copon) and his pal Ian (Van Winkle… seriously) for a weekend of partying in a remote lakeside cabin. All is well until they discover the cabin’s sauna and, after a boozy row, Michael storms out and leaves the other three trapped inside. Horror. 

There’s really very little of interest going on here. Death-by-sauna has vaguely interesting dramatic possibilities but a thin, clumsy script padded out by flashbacks, flash-forwards and dream sequences clearly has no real idea what to do with them. The temperature of the title is never referenced, the trio find some relief almost immediately when they smash open a small window in the door of the sauna to let in some fresh air and they’re at more risk of driving each other nuts by bickering with each other than of actually suffering anything other than mild discomfort in a slightly hot wooden room. Plenty of huffing, puffing, screaming and some scenes of mild perspiration but 247°F is absolutely nothing to get steamed up about.

Extras: Deleted scenes

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