Wide World of Horror: ‘247°F’ – if the heat doesn’t get you, the run time will

247°F

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Written by Lloyd S. Wagner
Directed by Levan Bakhia & Beqa Jguburia
Georgia/United States of America, 2011

There’s almost nothing more upsetting than a film that overstays its welcome. Trim somewhere around forty minutes to an hour off of 247°F and the end result would be a pretty great short film. As it stands this film is far, far too long. There comes a point, about fifteen minutes after our three protagonists have become stuck in the sauna, when it’s all too clear that 247°F is already recycling ideas. A character will yell, then another will yell, then a third will tell the other two to calm down. Follow this with one of them coming up with a possible solution to their problem, and watch as said solution fails. Repeat that chain of events ad nauseum and the end product is the majority of 247°F.

Frankly, it sucks that 247°F does overstay its welcome. There’s a decent idea buried beneath the extra fluff and run on scenes. The starkness at play is easy to appreciate, and the simplicity of the plot is welcoming in an odd sort of way. There’s nothing inherently terrible about 247°F, it merely fails to break free from the ruts it creates for itself. The cool idea and the stark filmmaking give way to repetition and recycling of ideas while the film lessens with every second.

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It’s hard to look at 247°F and not see the major logic gaps that are present. This is, again, a negative result of the over length of the film. The majority of logic gaps only come about because the film drags on when it should have ended. The longer the film goes the more the characters make choices that are both foolish and hard to buy. In a shortened format said choices would have been easier to overlook. But, the more length there is to the film the more that the ridiculous character choices drag the film down.

A great short film ruined by too much footage, 247°F is a wasted premise. Said premise isn’t the strongest, but it’s good enough, and high concept enough, to make for a decent film. The actors all do a fine enough job with the material they are given. Finally, the direction manages to work in small doses. Unfortunately the film delivers a large dose instead of a small dose and that’s where 247°F trips up the most. Some films are better when their run time is drastically cut, 247°F is one of those films.

-Bill Thompson




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