Autodidact: self-taught

Dec
27
2012

Six Strangers Wake Up in a Room…

by V. L. Craven

Hilarity ensues.

Wait, no, Horrible Things happen.

Cube: The first strangers-in-a-room film I saw and I thought it was a brilliant concept. Seven strangers awake in a cube. None of them know how they got there or why they’ve been taken. Each of the walls of the cube has a door that leads to another cube; and they soon find out that some of the rooms are booby trapped. Occasionally, the room seems to move and they work out that they’re in one room of an even larger cube. The goal becomes getting to the edge of the larger cube. There are two others in the series and they’re all right, but can’t compare to the first.

Hunger:  Five people awake in a cave-like room with a clock on the wall that shows time in 24 hour periods–the clock moves once per day. There are thirty marks on the clock. The strangers only have to make it thirty days with a few barrels of water. They’re being observed by a person who wants to see what happens to people’s humanity in that sort of situation. Hint: All of the bad things.

Exam: This one is a bit different from the others on the list, in that the characters intentionally walk into the room in order to complete the final portion of an intensive interview process. So they know why they are there, but they still don’t know who their interviewer(s) are. Each candidate is given one sheet of paper, one pencil, a set of instructions and then told to answer the question set before them. The paper is blank so they have 80 minutes to work out both the question and the answer. What transpires is a sort of live-action escape-the-room game, if you were playing with other people with whom you were also in competition for a prize. This one was the most suspenceful, and well-written.

Die:  Six people, all of whom are suicidal, awake in a room. They’re each in a glass cell and can see the others. They’re brought out, two at a time, into the middle of the room. One is strapped to a chair, the other must cast a die and, depending on the number that comes up, must then administer a punishment to the one in the chair. It winds up being about a cult of people who’ve been ‘saved’ from suicide and ‘reborn’. It’s all a bit ‘I’m sorry? Je ne comprends pas.’ I suppose the writer was trying to make it about something other than a psychopath mentally and physically torturing people.

(Seriously, if there’s an ensemble comedy where a bunch of strangers wake up in a room, please leave a comment.)

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