YEAR: 2009

WRITER: Stuart Hazeldine & Simon Garrity(story)

DIRECTOR: Stuart Hazeldine




recently netflix made its way across the border to canada with its one-monthly-fee-stream-all-you-want service and i immediately singed up only to find that the selection was not even close to what it is for my neighbors to the south. however, there is still some good stuff and a few weeks ago i decided to let netflix pick a movie for me.

i have rated over a hundred films and checked off how much i like certain genres and based on all those criteria netflix provided me with some suggestions of movies i might like. one of which was Exam. now, generally i am not impressed with these suggestion services, but in the case of Exam, netflix did good.

the film begins with eight strangers competing for a job, entering a windowless room and sitting at their assigned desks. then an invigilator enters the room, tells them the rules of the exam, puts 80 minutes on the clock and walks out, leaving behind the eight applicants and an armed guard.

the movie brought to mind a film called Cube, which had strangers waking up in a cube and trying to figure out why they were there and how to get out. in the case of Exam, they know why they are there, but figuring out how to answer the exam isn't easy. and with the various personality types brought together in the room, working together will be even harder.

for much of the film it all feels pretty detached from reality. not that it isn't believable, but in that it is all very self contained within the exam room without any idea of the world outside. i really liked this and it kept it very psychologically thrilling - kind of like in a horror film where you never see the monster.

however, that changes as the film progresses and the specifics of the company they are trying to work for and what is going on in the world are discussed. while at first it worried me that this would cause the film to lose its edge and the originality of the world it had created in the room, it really didn't.

i wonder what netflix will suggest to me next.