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By Emily Booth, Wednesday 19th April 2017
The job market is fierce, brutal and unfair to say the least in these uncertain socioeconomic times, which is a feeling that's been picked up in various horror films echoing a certain social commentary.
The Hong Kong flick Dream Home tells of a girl who'll kill just to get on the property ladder and become 'mobile! Things are so competitive people bare all on national TV to land that lucrative business opportunity, though in this week's Horror Channel premiere there is no wise-cracking, pint-sized mogul blurting out 'You're Fired' when the going gets tough.
The 'one room horror' reminiscent of Cube and The Killing Room forces a group of (usually) strangers into one space, where clashing personality types must work together to attain a goal or freedom that's ultimately only destined for one. What follows therefore is a highly taut suspenseful exploration of both the human psyche and social pecking order. That's if it's done right, and this week's Exam comes top of the class.
Eight candidates undergo the final stage in what must have been a highly competitive selection process to join a mysterious corporation. To land the job, the eight strangers must sit an 'exam' whereby they must quite simply answer the question on the paper. There's just one big problem - all the papers are completely blank. The candidates must figure out what the question is and how to answer it to become the last man/woman standing. Oh, and they have just 80 minutes in this real time thriller! Are they supposed to show co-operation and work together, or do whatever it takes to obliterate the competition? Naturally the differing personalities clash as alpha males take charge, suspicions arise as to whether one of them is a 'plant', and desperation breeds cruelty.
This is a very confined horror thriller and the casting here is of paramount importance as the film largely relies on the script and acting to carry it through, although the set and cinematography are exceptionally stylish too.
Nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, this film is one smartly conceived original thriller from Stuart Hazeldine, who has just completed his second feature, The Shack due for release in June.
Look out for Humans's Gemma Chan, horror regular Pollyanna McIntosh, and Jimi Mistry in this incredibly tense film.
Turn over your papers please, your time starts now! Exam makes its network premiere on Saturday 22nd April at 9pm.
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