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Can you take the heat?

Another horror film based on true events, but how much is really true and what has inevitably been created for our entertainment. With no monsters, no serial killer, no masked madman…could it really be death by sauna?

Opening with a car crash and a girl who we later realise is Jenna (Scout Taylor-Compton), screaming trapped in a car, we skip forward 3 years a group of the usual twenty something’s Jenna included are heading to a remote island for the weekend visiting Ian’s uncle Wade (Tyler Mane). Jenna still haunted by the events of her past is struggling with moving on with her life, could this be the relaxing break she needs to put her life in perspective.



Of course the group find the sauna, drink and relax, Michael (Michael Copon) who is suitably drunk leaves for the toilet and unknowingly locks his unsuspecting friends in as a ladder blocks the door. With temperatures rising tempers also fly as Jenna, Renee (Christina Ulloa) and Ian (Travis Van Winkle) fight to survive. Breaking the sauna window to let some cool air in they take turns by the door breathing in what little air they can. Jenna thinks if they break the temperature gage inside the sauna it might stop the heat rising, of course unwilling to listen to Ian she breaks the thermostat causing the heat to steadily rocket without it and with the window broken the heat will continue to rise and will not reach the temperature they originally set but surpass it causing heatstroke and almost certainly death if they are not found.

There is a moment when you think the three friends will be found as Beau barks and barks outside the sauna but Wade and a friend are letting off fireworks and thinking these are what spooked the dog they ignore it. the pair then bump into Michael who has been passed out from alcohol and drugs thinking his friends have gone to the party without him, he does not go looking for them.

Jenna is the character you empathise towards did she really want to be dragged away for the weekend with activities that involve inclosed spaces? Renee who’s sole purpose throughout the film is to shout Michael repeatedly to no avail is the least favourable character, why did Michael not ever go to check on his friends? Ian is the stand out hero of the story the real knight in shining armour willing to risk everything to be rescued. Will the friends be found in time and survive the ever increasing heat.

More a claustrophobic survival film than a horror, a simple concept turned into a terrifying reality likely to bring fear to us all.

Next time you use the sauna double check the door opens, I know I will.


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