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Popcorn Sucks – Fermat’s Room


Hello everyone and welcome to our first edition of Popcorn Sucks.  Today we’ll be looking at the film Fermat’s Room.  This is a spanish thriller/horror about a group of four mathemeticians who are invited to an event via mysterious letters.  The letter explains that the group is being brought together to solve one of the greatest enigmas the world has ever known.  They are given pseudonyms based on famous mathemeticians who came before them and are to reveal no information about themselves to the other guests.  Upon final arrival at a decrepit old grainery they explore it to find a well furnished room with a blackboard and numerous books on mathematics.  Soon they come to find themselves locked within the room and the room to be getting progressively smaller as the walls close in on them.  A PDA in the room rings and they are given a brainteaser that, if they can solve, will slow the room’s shrinking for a few moments.  This is where the movie really starts to shine.  The group must work to solve the constant bombardement of riddles all while trying to figure out why they were brought here, what they all have in common, and how to stop/escape the room. 

The film itself plays out like a mystery in the sense that you really have no information going into the movie, but more and more details come to the surface with each moment.  The suspense in the film is phenomenal.  With so many problems having to be dealt with at the same time, you as a viewer find yourself struggling to find out which answers you want first.  Are you more eager to hear the answer to the newest riddle, or perhaps a revelation of an element of one of the characters, or maybe you want to know the overall reason they are here. 

The only bad things people might find in the movie is the lack of character development, but I for one am perfectly fine with this.  You lock four people in a room that’s shrinking, and no they aren’t going to have revolutionary breakthroughs in their characters or understand a lot about themselves.  They are too busy trying to find a way out.  I think this adds to the sense of realism and suspense to the film. 

Fermat’s Room is on DVD now from IFC Films, and I highly recommend it.

Bonus: Here’s one of the riddles in the movie.  What is the pattern in this sequence of numbers?  You should be able to find their order.           8-5-9-1-7-3-2

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