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'Circle' DVD Review

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating


Circle DVD
© Indican

The Bottom Line

A slow, unscary serial killer thriller that fails to live up to its ambition.


  • Decent acting


  • Slow pace
  • Dull action
  • Predictable


  • Starring Peter Onorati, Kinsey Packard, Silas Weir Mitchell, Gail O'Grady, America Olivo, Michael DeLuise, Jason Thompson
  • Directed by Michael Watkins
  • Rated NR
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010

Guide Review - 'Circle' DVD Review

Nine years after killing five people in a ritualistic manner, mental patient James Bennett (Silas Weir Mitchell) escapes from his court-appointed hospital, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. It just so happens that at that very moment, a group of criminal psychology students from a local college are gathering at his childhood home as part of an assignment to find out what made Bennett the psychopath he is today.

It's up to an instinctive veteran police detective (Peter Onorati) and a young, analytical FBI agent (Kinsey Packard) to mesh their contrasting styles and decipher Bennett's cryptic clues to find and stop him before they have another blood bath on their hands.

Cicle's content is about as nondescript as its title. The Halloween-like setup is standard slasher stuff, which doesn't have to be a bad thing if the action is up to snuff, but the kills in Circle are uninteresting and often off screen. It can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a slasher or a police thriller, focusing a large portion of its time on the efforts of the authorities to locate Bennett -- including an inordinate, intricately detailed explanation of numerology and Greek mythology. And yet it never strikes them that he could just be headed to his nearby childhood home. Holy Michael Myers!

As it turns out, after all of the emphasis placed on how twisted and intelligent Bennett is, he ends up being neither interesting nor scary as a horror villain. In fact, the cop and FBI agent are the only characters with any sort of personality, and they're holed up in an office for most of the film. It feels like the writer came up with the basic framework for the story but didn't know how to fill it out, and thus we get a lot of dull (if ambitious) dialogue, ill-conceived action sequences, and an utterly predictable "twist". Only the solid acting -- featuring veterans like Onorati, Gail O'Grady and America Olivo -- keeps Circle from scraping the bottom of the direct-to-video horror barrel.


No special features.

Movie: D

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the studio. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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