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"Breathing Room" Review

Another of my 50 cent Hollywood looting pickups, all I knew about Breathing Room was this cover...

...and the premise on the back cover. (Watch the trailer below which sets it up nicely.) For those unwilling/unable to click, a young woman (Ailsa Marshall, who looks like a prettier, more girly Katee Sackhoff) arrives naked (no skin, sorry) in a room that looks like a warehouse with 13 other people, none of whom know how they got there either. She's given a numbered jumpsuit and signs on the walls and floor warning of dire consequences for breaking the rules. Why are they there? Is this tryouts for a Slipknot tribute band or a struggle for survival in which all but one are promised to end up dead? (Survey says.....B!!!)

Shot for what looks like $50 with a camcorder - the actual budget was $25,000 according to Wikipedia and the camcorders were prosumer grade - Breathing Room benefits from having a decent, albeit unknown, cast with the ability to breathe some life into their thin-due-to-numbers characters. While you'll probably be able to figure out how it ends (though the final twist was a little less expected), the co-writing/directing team of John Suits and Gabriel Cowan pace things well and don't turn it into the Saw knockoff it could've been and it appears to be marketed as. I hate "torture porn" movies, so I'm glad to say this wasn't one in that sense.

While there are a few logical lapses - while there's a bathroom, no food or water is ever given and no one seems to complain about hunger or thirst; one player is killed and no one seems to notice their absence; people act like ninnies instead of trying to solve the puzzle of their confinement - it's to Suits' and Cowan's credit that I wasn't yelling, "Yeah, right!", more than a couple of times. While it's not a mandatory film to check out, it's far better than it could've been and it's worth checking out if you come across it.

Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable if it ever gets shown.


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