Breathing Room John Suits

Breathing Room John Suits
Following the success of claustrophobic and budget conscious hits Cube and Saw, it was inevitable that a legion of filmmakers would duplicate the set up, given the likelihood of financial successes with a simple arrangement that utilizes a single set and unknown actors. While there are a variety of ways that a creative mind could work within these confines and provide some uniqueness of vision — like Cube director Vincenzo Natali managed to do with his sci-fi wish fulfilment parable Nothing — Breathing Room appears to find comfort in its own mediocrity and unoriginality. It follows Tonya (Ailsa Marshall), contestant 14, in a deadly game of survival that involves a group of strangers being collared and tossed into a locked room. They must adhere to a strict regimen of rules while solving random clues and hints that are tossed their way by an effeminate, all-knowing villain (Keith Foster). Unsurprisingly, the gang learns that a murderer, a rapist and a paedophile are in their midst, which of course leads to mistaken killings, forced shouting matches and accusations aplenty. None of this, however, is particularly memorable or overly affecting in either a positive or negative manner. It simply exists as a predictable and milquetoast examination of refrained nihilism and apathy with glib observations and perfunctory dialogue. A lack of gore and the inevitable and none-too-obvious twist may even alienate the target demo of slaughter hungry horror junkies who have yet to move on from the pseudo-Cronenberg-esque, pornographic, bodily mutilation and mutation snuff that the Saw franchise and its copycats have to offer. With these perversions scraped away, a social and behavioural exploration is only as successful as the observations it makes about humanity and the nature of existence, which Breathing Room unfortunately has none of. The DVD comes with no special features aside from the option of English subtitles for the hearing impaired. (Seville)