Coming to home video October 23rd
You had to know it was coming eventually, just when you thought it was safe to go in the sauna. The film opens up with Jenna, who is driving with her boyfriend Jamie and before we know it, they have a bad car wreck. He dies and she is trapped in the car. So after this incident, we fast forward 3 years later. Michael has a relative who has this place in the woods far away from society to go hang out and party. So he takes his girlfriend Renee, and Ian and Jenna for a peaceful getaway. Once there, they discover this place has a sauna. Well a night of drinking and fun turns deadly when Ian and the girls find themselves trapped in the sauna and cannot get out.
The first thing you notice about this film it seems like a Rob Zombie Halloween reunion with Tyler Mane and Scout Taylor-Compton both starring in this film. Tyler plays Wade the Uncle to Michael who lets them use the place, and Scout plays Jenna. Let’s be honest, this film’s premise is absurd and really shows that Hollywood and horror are both scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. They said this film is based on a true story, let me be honest when you see how this film ends, there is no way you can sell me on this being true and really happening. I never knew the dangers and evils about being trapped in a sauna, and these three sold me on this peril somewhat. The twist to this film is basically how they get trapped in this sauna, and when you see how it happens, it is absurd as this film’s premise is.
This film was not a total waste, and really sold me on their peril very well. If the 87 minutes would have been in the sauna and they changed the ending, I would have been so much more praise ready for this film. The 35 minutes we get sauna drama, I really thought that was the strong point to the film, and it sort of kept us guessing what would happen next and if they would get saved but would have been more effective with better dialogue and acting. Which leads us right into my other issues with this film well beside the ending and the explanation of it, was the acting and just how unbelievable this film got. Now, the trapping in the sauna is pretty farfetched, but when you start to see why they are not found it is even more farfetched. This film does not expect you just to sustain your disbelief; it wants you to completely shut off all logic and common sense as well. You know the heat will get to them, and when it does around the hour mark we get some decent sick moments like when one of the characters loses their head and tries to do something so insane that involved with destroying the heating unit that is about 250 degrees with their bare hands.
This film has a dream sequence that was really creative and had this viewer fooled, that came out of nowhere, it was little touches like that, and that kept this film watchable. This is one of those films that will keep your attention, that is not saying it is a great film or even a bad film, it is one of those films that has this built in paranoia that you are not sure who is who or what is going on with these people who are not in the sauna and you feel you have to see how it turns out. I guess you can market this as the opposite of Frozen, one has people stuck in a winter ski lift, and this film has people stuck in a hot sauna. This film could have been so much better, and made the characters mean more and make us care more. The characters in this film felt so phony and just bland, where you almost want to cheer on the sauna. All in all, it was not a total waste, it was a time killer. Hopefully this is the beginning and end of the killer sauna trend.
5 out of 10