Written by Diane Tillis
Sociopathic serial killer James Bennett (played by Silas Weir Mitchell of Prison Break) has escaped a maximum security mental hospital after being incarcerated for nine years. Two FBI agents team up with a Federal Marshall to figure out where Bennett is heading next by investigating clues left behind in Bennett’s cell. They also turn to the mental hospital’s director Dr. Green (played by Gail O’Grady of Boston Legal) for insight into Bennett’s mind. What they don’t know is that Bennett’s first order of business is to return to his childhood home. Meanwhile six graduate students are traveling to Bennett’s childhood home for inspiration to finish their thesis. When Bennett arrives, the students begin to disappear one by one.
As the FBI agents and Federal Marshall work to uncover the method to Bennett’s madness, the students are trapped within the web of his methods. As the pieces come together, Bennett’s ritualistic murders appear to have ties to ancient Greek mythology, mathematical formulas, and a mysterious second killer.
Circle is pretty predictable if you have seen any serial killer films or an episode of Criminal Minds in the last decade. The biggest obstacle of the film is that the audience knows Bennett’s method before the cops and we have to wait for them to catch up. The cops in this film are not as quick to figure out what Bennett is planning as the cops of Criminal Minds!
The DVD cover art gives the impression that Circle is a hack-and-slash film with a gritty atmosphere and a hot babe to save the day. In reality, Circle is a tame slasher film that is not about creating a body count. Instead it is about presenting the genius of a mad man who speaks Greek and has an obsession with circles. Circle does not have much of a gore factor either. Any death scenes that do occur on camera are covered in dark shadows and are hard to make out. The hot babe (America Olivio) does not save the day. Instead she is just there for the obligatory sex scenes that have no purpose with the film’s plot.
The video aspect ratio is 1.78:1. The atmosphere of the film is created by the video. The video quality is sharp from foreground to background.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Dialogue and background sounds come through clearly enough to be understood. There are no subtitles or additional language tracks except English to select.
A behind-the-scenes featurette is included in the DVD’s special features. The feature gives a glimpse into the production of the film, but it is brief and not very in depth. There are also some sneak peak trailers for other films produced by the same production companies as Circle.
Circle was dull from beginning to end. The film lacked any amount of suspense I would expect of a horror film. There are a few recognizable faces such as Silas Weir Mitchell and Gail O’Grady in the cast, but even their presence could not save the film.