“Held captive and faced with their imminent executions, fifty strangers are forced to choose the one person among them who deserves to live.”
Produced by Felt Films and directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione, this Netflix-distributed sci-fi horror movie is, by far, one of the best things I’ve seen in this particular genre. With the creative use of a single-location, real-time storyline, Hann and Miscione made something that, while lacking social commentary, relates to the audience a sense of the human consciousness enacted by the strangers trapped in a circle of democratically-selected sacrifice.
It was harrowing, it was exciting and heart-wrenching, sometimes it was even comical with the juxtoposition of dialogue and the raw mortality of the content. It was, literally, just people getting killed for an hour and a half, but with an exciting and unexpected series of twists.
“Circle” was really a film that got the audience to pay attention, to think, to wonder what they would do if they found themselves, mysteriously, waking up in a presumably alien space ship. Althought a strange use of point of view, it demonstrated exactly what an unreliable narrator would look onscreen. Everyone had questions with no way to find the answers, and the audience was as shocked and awed by the results as the characters. This only helped bring the audience closer, got them (at least me) more involved.
Every second of the heavy dialogue, acted brilliantly by a wide and diverse cast of established and unknown actors at a natural and harried speed, challenged the morals of the characters and the audience. Making them doubt with a comfortably distant hand of just watching a movie what they would do, who they would kill.
While the ending was underrated and unenthusiastic as sci-fi endings go, it was exactly the smooth polish of closure and narrative suspicion that neither over-explained or dropped off completely that the movie needed. Highly, highly recommend this movie for the next night at home with Netflix.