Exam (2009)

Exam is the first movie by Stuart Hazeldine, starring Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham, Chukwudi Iwuji, Luke Mably, Pollyanna McIntosh and Jimi Mistry.

Eight candidates for a job come together to take one final exam before they are chosen (or not) for the new job. The rules for the exam are read: They have 80 minutes to answer a single question. But when they turn their sheets over, they’re empty. Unsure and with a rising sense of panic, they try to figure out what’s going on.

Exam tries not to fall into the usual pifalls of the “a group of strangers are locked into a room together with an unclear objective” genre and mostly, it succeeds, though it tries a little too hard. Unfortunately towards the end it gets a little derailed by a convoluted plot.


I appreciated it that Hazeldine didn’t try to go for either of the usual explanations (psychological experiment/sadistic pleasure). It’s not the pretense of a job interview, it actually is one – albeit a very strange one. With the explanation at the end, it kinda makes sense. I mean, it’s probably the most complicated way ever to find the right person for the job, but there is some reason there.

But I do think that the plot and explanation got a little too over the top at the end there. Up until the last ten minutes or so, the tension was good and I was caught up but when the actual solution started, I just went, “yeah, right” over and over again.

I liked the Surprise!SciFi, with the virus etc. It explained, at least to a certain degree, why people would freak that much in such a short time and for a job. [Personally, I probably would have just pulled out my book and waited for the 80 minutes if confronted with a test with no questions. But then again, I probably wouldn’t have been the right person for the job.]

For a low-budget production, this movie looks very good. Of course, they didn’t have to spend much on sets, but I also liked the cinematography.

Summarising: Very decent.

2 thoughts on “Exam (2009)

  1. Pingback: “Exam”: Social experiment or job interview? « Radu presents: The Movie-Photo Blog

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