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Film Review: Circle (2010)

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A group of graduate students who are doing a thesis on a crazed serial killer head to his former home with the purpose of learning all that they can about him (and hoping that they can find something there that no one else has that will shed some light on why he feels the need to kill). Unbeknownst to them, unfortunately, the serial killer has recently escaped the mental hospital where he was incarcerated and is making his way back home. Will the hardboiled policeman (who was responsible for capturing him after his first killing spree) and FBI agent be able to figure out where he is heading in time, or are all of the students destined to die horribly at his hands?


 I had never heard of this movie so as such I knew nothing at all about it. I popped it into the DVD player not knowing what to expect and hoped for the best. I really got into it (after the almost too long opening scene that should have been cut down a little as it became a little boring as I was waiting for something to happen) and thought that it was a pretty decent little horror flick did an awesome job of mixing together the elements of slasher flicks, crime dramas, and suspense/thrillers quite well. I was quite pleased with “Circle” and I think that most other viewers will feel the same way as there is a lot to like about it.

I thought that even though it wasn’t the most original movie ever (I am thinking the people behind it are fans of “Halloween”) I thought that the writing was very solid. For example, I couldn’t help but notice how good the dialogue between the characters was. It was very realistic and as such it helped bring the characters to life and make them seem more life-like. I also liked the twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming as it was well done and didn’t seem forced like so many twists in today’s films. I also liked the killer’s back story as well as I thought that the reason that he put his victims in a semi-circle (hence the title) was pretty cool and had some originality.

Another huge strength of the film was the cast. I thought that Peter Onorati kicked all kinds of ass in his portrayal of the hardened, bitter policeman who is doing his best to stop Bennett (the serial killer) before he can claim any more victims. I also really liked Silas Weir Mitchell who was very creepy and effective as the psychotic Bennett. He is just creepy as hell (thanks in part to how unsettling his eyes look) and I dug the fact that he barely said a word in the entire movie. Like Michael Myers, he just slinks around silently in the background as he disposes of his victims and there is just something disturbing about him in general.

I liked the rest of the cast as well, but the one that really stood out was the always great (and beautiful) America Olivia (from “Neighbor,” one of the best movies I have seen in recent years). She plays the character of Britt, and while it isn’t a major character she owns every scene that she is in. I wish that she had gotten more screen time as she was just a fun character (that was nice to look at) and I honestly thought that out of all the female characters that she was the best. Olivia is very talented and I can see her becoming the next big thing in the very near future.

Really the only aspect of “Circle” I didn’t care for was the fact that the death scenes were very weak. Some of them take place off camera and the ones that we do get to see are pretty unimpressive and are way too quick. Then again I am a gore hound who enjoys bloody, hardcore death scenes, so maybe it is just me. Still, I think that there should have been a little more blood (there is barely any at all) as well as at least one death that was gory and disturbing.

I really liked “Circle.” I don’t think that it is for everyone, but I for one dug it. I thought that it was interesting, well-written, and I liked the characters. Check it out if you get the chance, you may just end up really liking it depending on your tastes.

Circle (2010)

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