Circle of Eight [Import]
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Secrets. Passion. Redemption. Murder. When Jessica moves into The Dante, a historic and eerie building in downtown Los Angeles, she finds an eclectic mix of new neighbors eager to welcome her to their bohemian world. Or are they? As Jessica races to unravel the mystery behind a chain of horrifying deaths that only she seems to see, she’ll come face-to-face with the chilling truth behind her connection to The Dante. Welcome home… welcome into the Circle of Eight.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm big on visuals, so I was happy with the directing job by Stephen Cragg, who mostly shot for television in the past. The colors and lighting are great, and the editing is fresh and different, like watching an episode of The Shield or a music video. The movie was shot in the former Linda Vista Hospital, which is supposedly a haunted building. In any case, the apartment building that serves as the setting is definitely dark and foreboding. I also enjoyed the movie's score, which ranged from upbeat rock and electronic, to haunting melodies.
As far as the story, it's difficult to get into details without spoiling it. There's a mystery that pulls you in from the very beginning, and even though the concept has been done before (by both Eric Bress and Harold Ramis), it's still a decent surprise. The movie scores points by not making the conclusion too obvious, although I thought they tried a little too hard to make some of the characters quirky. As a side note, I know this was co-produced by Mountain Dew, but the product placement was just a little too overt.
Bottom line: the film gets confusing at times, but it's still more entertaining than other straight-to-video movies. The film's ending leaves room for interpretation, so it's worth checking this movie out to form your own conclusion.
It's New Years Eve, and Jennifer (Austin Highsmith) is moving into an apartment building called the Dante located somewhere in LA's art district. She arrives in reasonably good spirits, but that soon changes when she meets Ed (John Bishop) the building's creepy manager, who operates from a desk located inside a freight elevator, and cryptically warns Jessica not to enter the file room.
Jennifer enters her eighth floor apartment, and almost immediately begins receiving visits from what seems to be nearly every resident of the building. The parade includes Randall (D.J. Quails) is a nerdy type, who walks around with a video camera, because he is filming a documentary of the building. India (Natashia Williams) a model, and her boyfriend Damon (Jesse Johnson), drop by to invite Jennifer to a party that will be held on the roof later that night. Bale (Josh Kelly) and Elaine (Katie Lowes), a married couple who are expecting a child, also stop by to say hi. And rounding out the group of eight is Evan (Ryan Doom) an artist who finds Jennifer in the bath, after entering her apartment unannounced, and seems overly concerned that Jessica understands that she can trust him.
There is tragedy in Jennifer's past. As events unfold, almost nothing she does makes any logical sense, as she sees the dead bodies of her neighbors, which then mysteriously disappear. She visits Evan's apartment, and is so impressed by his unusual artwork, that she finds herself flat on her back on his light table, with Evan on top of her, when he abruptly changes his mind about making love.
While visiting the off limits supply room, Jessica discovers a clue to what may be happening. With increasing frequency, Evan shows up wherever she turns. All this madness builds up to not one, but two endings to the film. Listening to the awful dialog twice, and experiencing some terrible acting is an ordeal, but at least there is a resolution to the story, although it may be unsatisfying.
Circle of Eight is a curiosity that veers away from reality early, and never attempts to get back. Little that happens inside the Dante makes sense, and the film generates more feelings of frustration and exasperation, rather than scares. With a cast of eclectic and often irritating characters, this film will probably be a major disappointment to those looking for straight horror or suspense. The issues lie squarely with the writing, rather than the actors.
The plot gets maddeningly repetitious at the close, as Evan appears again and again, sprouting the most insane dialog. Although the actors may have had a blast playing such goofy characters, the result is not as enjoyable for the viewer who is presented with a weak story, and insubstantial characters that you have little reason to care about. Production values are decent, contributing to a rating of 2.5 stars.
The story in Circle of Eight is more than the usual haunted house story and while it starts confusing it do come together in the end. I think the story is quite good, it might not be perfect but it is original enough to stand out among other low budget horror movies. The characters of this movie is interesting, they might be a bit to stereotypical, each of them are one truck ponies where you could sum up their entire personality in one word, you have the hippie, the party girl, the creepy geek and so on, but for this kind of story the characters do not need to be to detailed, and their strange, single track behavior actually adds to their creepiness.
Circle of Eight is about a young woman who movies into an old factory made apartment building called the Dante, there she meets her very strange but apparently friendly at first neighbors and the odd manager who have his office in the elevator. Soon strange things starts to happen and the main character start to see the other tenants dead in horrible ways only to find them alive and well the next moment.
The action of Circle of Eight quite good, the imagery in the film is stunning, the music however falls flat and is completely forgettable. Circle of Eight is an original and interesting movie who tries to hard and get just a little to jumbled and confusing for my tastes. If you are looking for a traditional haunted house movie then this is not it, if you are looking for a dark story about facing the consequences of of one's past and you can deal with a non linear storyline then this might be just the movie for you.
There was a lack of character development and everyone just seems superficial. We never get an idea of who these people are, including the main character. The dialogue and the pace of this movie seem awkward too. The 'suspense' doesn't seem suspenseful enough. All the events are leading up to this New Year's 'party' on the roof and yet I really didn't care. There wasn't anything scary enough to build fear and dread, just some creepy music...and then...the 'gore' if you can call it that looks fake and obvious and it fails to shock. It looks like some people using movie props to play a prank.
The ending is more of a romance movie/drama ending and is more depressing than scary. If you have seen the movie "The Sixth Sense" and the movie "Groundhog Day" you probably will figure out the ending. The only difference is those were GOOD movies! The setting is good and I think the actors were probably decent too...but they didn't have a good script to work with or good direction. The only thing of real value I found in this movie was the recipe to make Mt Dew glow in the dark. I haven't tried the mixture out yet but if it doesn't glow I will have one more reason to dislike this movie!