200 Degrees (2017) Giorgio Serafini

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As the Stakes Get Higher… So Does the Temperature

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/200-Degrees-Eric-Balfour/dp/B06ZZQ1NHW
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/200-degrees/id1226867796
YouTube Trailer www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQqwf43ERIw
 
200 Degrees is an impressive film.  Following its theatrical run in the USA this summer, the movie got an Amazon.com release on Sept. 12 and a Amazon.ca release for Canadians, Sept. 17.  200 Degrees is a fun thriller and a powerful effort from Eric Balfour.
 
Balfour is Ryan Hinds, a stockbroker with a quandary that’s life-threatening–he’s being held for ransom.  The nature of the setup Ryan’s afoul of is very specific to this film.
 
During what you could call an encounter with evil, he comes to know that his wife Anna and their boy will be threatened if Ryan persists in trying to escape without paying the bounty on his life.  His captor in turn cruelly hoses him with hot water, while under a folding chair he hides, unwilling to be scalded.  “Your wife is safe,” speaks the villain.
 
The intensity of the photography capturing Ryan’s suffering–the sweat on his person, even the hose water on his clothes–keeps you relating to Ryan’s torment.  In the scene in which he is hosed, there is no music, only the sound of the gushing water.
 
Eric Balfour played Duke Crocker on Haven in 2015.  In 2007, Balfour played Milo Pressman on 24.  Impressively, IMDb attributes to Balfour eighty credits as an actor, a lot of work over the last twenty-five years or so.
 
Most of the screen time in 200 Degrees is devoted to Balfour.  He does interact verbally with off-screen characters, in several scenes of the film, and brings intensity to the role in 200 Degrees that is representative of his charm as an actor.
 
Where Eric Balfour has often played in an ensemble cast, in his star turn in 200 Degrees, while there is the interaction with off-screen characters, Balfour is alone for most of the film.  He lives up to the challenge.  He renders convincing a bizarre scenario and the combination of thrills and plot twists make it worth your hour and a half, hands down.
 
I would give this film four stars out of five.  The actors all give good performances, particularly Balfour, and also Kristin Cochell, as Anna.   The production detail of editing the film to some extent in real time without utilizing other settings to give the audience relief is bold, I think, and there is a hint of experimentalism that should be looked at with 200 Degrees.  
 
The film is the right length, and the music is sparse throughout and appropriately sinister, which is another strong point of the film as the score is never intrusive.  The eccentricity of the timing of the music in the film is unusual, I think.
 
I wouldn’t have minded seeing a little more beyond the closing scene of the film, but I liked 200 Degrees overall and I would recommend it.