When the timer begins, the applicants turn over their papers to reveal...nothing. It becomes apparent that they'll not only have to figure out the answer, but also the question. They decide to cooperate, but how far can they trust each other? As secrets emerge about the candidates and the company, the test devolves into suspicion, trickery, sabotage and violence, and all the while the clock keeps ticking away...
The End Result
With the intimate one-room setting and real-time action, there's a warped play-like feel to this tale that helps draw the viewer even closer into the plot. Twist upon twist is doled out throughout the 80 minutes; you might be able to guess one but probably not all. The final outcome isn’t quite as delicious as the build-up, however, as the believability factor dwindles with the increased stakes.
Still, the cast of largely unknowns (at least in the US) performs well, and first-time director Stuart Hazeldine displays great skill in making a one-room tale with limited action feel like a thrill ride.
- Acting: B- (Solid all around; they have to carry the load, with minimal action.)
- Direction: B (Great cinematic flair for generating thrills.)
- Script: B- (Great setup, nice twists, intriguing characters; loses its grasp on realism near the end.)
- Gore/Effects: C+ (Not much needed.)
- Overall: B- (An engrossing psychological study of human nature.)
Exam is directed by Stuart Hazeldine and is not rated by the MPAA. Release date: July 23, 2010 (on demand).