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Customer Review

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spanish horror film about maths..., 8 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Fermat's Room [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I shamelessly stole and adapated the title of this review for good reason. The nowadays sadly obligatory review quote on the DVD box reads "Pi meets Cube with a dash of Saw". I'm not certain that's entirely accurate and liked the actual tagline "Think inside the box" a whole lot more.
Yes there are numbers involved (Pi). Yes they are trapped in a kind of box-deathtrap (Cube) and yes there is an unknown devilish tormenter who poses riddles (Saw) but to break "Fermat's Room" up into merely the sum of it's parts is to do this film a great disservice.
(Also mention of "Cube" and "Saw" is perhaps aimed at attracting slightly the wrong audience while "Pi" the "Jewish horror film about maths" is a lot closer to the mark.... but maybe I'm reading too much into it).

Frankly this is a film that would struggle to find screentime at most multiplex cinemas. The release of "Fermat's Room" in the UK is unapologetically aimed at a niche audience. It's a foreign language, low-budget, mathematics-themed horror/thriller and I enjoyed it heartily.

Four apparent strangers are invited by riddle to attend the solving of a mysterious enigma that would challenge the greatest of minds. Their intellectual curiosity and perhaps arrogance leads them into a potential deathtrap of solving timed mathematical riddles to stay alive (To be just the slightest bit critical here I did find some of the riddles less than challenging as they tended to be the kind of logic puzzles I learned as a child). Of course the film's biggest riddle of all is why, specifically, are they there.

What starts most sedately gradually escalates into a crescendo of panic, paranoia, accusation and the will to survive. The characters and you the viewer are misdirected at every turn plunging you directly into the frenetic pacing as the very literal end draws ever closer.
There are some truly standout moments of cinematic style that only European cinema seems capable of pulling off these days and as the clues and conclusions come thick and fast you struggle to keep up with the supposed geniuses. There is little time for idle thought and I suspect a few people may even get left behind if they so much as blink.

Exciting, intelligent, unpatronising and distincly continental cinema which may not be 100% original but does improve upon the formula tenfold.
Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jan 2012 05:06:57 GMT
Amazon User says:
So the photo shows "THINK INSIDE THE BOX" on the bottom of the front cover of the DVD. But the one I received says "DEATH BY NUMBERS". Did I get the right version?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2012 18:19:23 GMT
Frosmo says:
Yes, it is the right version. To be absolutely sure you can check it says "film by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña" on the back.
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Reviewer

G. Thomas
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: Canterbury UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 220,319