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Exam

by

Jeff Nelson

Exam is an alright psychological thriller that had so much potential.

Exam]
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For a long time, mainstream thrillers have been offering the same things, just in different packages. Thrillers that are unpredictable and make the audience think can be some of the best movies, but there aren't very many out there. Exam attempts to be different.

Eight job applicants in a guarded, windowless room are given instruction, exams and 80 minutes to one question that may win them a prime position. They soon as they discover this isn't any ordinary test, the exams are blank. They must decide what they will do and how far each will go for the job. It's an interesting concept where the filmmakers could have taken it in many different directions. The screenplay starts off strong, but slowly begins going downhill about halfway through the film. Unfortunately, the ending isn't a very strong one and doesn't feel like it fits in with the rest of the film. If the filmmakers were to have put more thought into the final act, this could have been a real mind scramble.

Throughout the entire film, the character's names aren't said. They are named by their hair, skin color, or ethnicity, with the exception of one. They're named Dark, Chinese, Blonde, Deaf, Black, White, Brunette, and Brown. None of these actors gave absolute award winning performances, but the strongest performance is by Luke Mably. He performs as White and is the most immature and isn't the most humble. However, he's convincing as the character and speaks all dialogue perfectly. The rest of the cast are acceptable, but are nothing memorable.

There isn't much scenery shown in Exam, since the entire film takes place in the exam room and nowhere else. There are a couple shots that look absolutely excellent, nonetheless. I don't want to give too much information on the scenes, otherwise it will ruin scenes for those who do want to check this out. Lighting is great and it's easy to see everything that's going on even during a scene where the exam room gets very dark and dimly lit.

Many people will call Exam too slow and uneventful. There isn't a lot that happens until much later into the film. This film takes its time to introduce the characters without giving away too much of them. Unfortunately, it loses its steam in its final act which is what viewers walk out of the movie thinking most about. Exam is an alright psychological thriller that had so much potential.

My Rating = Three Stars

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