CONTAINS SPOILERS AND SWEATY GIRLS IN THEIR PANTS
The brief back-of-a-fag-packet summation of the plot of this very moderately intriguing suspense number is "teens get locked in a sauna". That's it: move along, folks, there's nothing else to see here. Three teens get locked in a sauna, they sweat, they panic, they cry and shriek, they try to get out, they can't. Eventually someone turns up and lets them out (at least, the survivor or survivors). Paraphrasing the old quip: twenty minutes of exciting drama ruthlessly crammed into a ninety minute running time. Indeed, so ruthlessly has so little been crammed into so long that there's barely room for the stoners, the exclusive party, the dickhead boyfriend, the past trauma, the leaping in and out of frozen lakes and the dog who might or might not save the day.
Certainly no-one manages to find a few seconds in which to ask why anyone would build a sauna that goes up to 247°F, when according to the blurb on the DVD their skin will sear at 190, their lungs would burn at 200 and their blood boils at a mere 212. (But then again, the DVD tagline is the nonsensical "You'll Never Step Foot In A Sauna Again".) Four teens pitch up at a friend's log cabin, en route to an exclusive party; while they're waiting they try out the sauna. One of them is a drunken idiot who wanders off after a fight, but a stepladder accidentally falls against the door, trapping the other three inside. With only a small broken window to let in any cool air, can they find a way out or just hope that someone turns up before they're all steamed like aubergines?
The setup is a neat idea, supposedly based on a true story (and the exact opposite of Adam Green's Frozen), but it's not really strong enough to support a 90-minute thriller when so much of it is just bickering in a sweaty room. More notable than anything else is that the leading girl is played by Scout Taylor-Compton and the cabin's owner by Tyler Mane, heroine and maniac respectively from Rob Zombie's two insulting Halloween reboots. 247°F isn't an awful movie, just a strangely pointless and unremarkable one. Though it looks, feels and sounds like an American straight-to-DVD production, it's actually from Georgia.
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