For the next twelve days, I’ll be posting a TV show or film I’ve found on Netflix that I think is worth watching – something you might scroll by due to fear of the unknown. My dumpster diving treasures, as it were. Enjoy, and recommend your own treasures to me!
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Recommended To: Fans of the film Cube; people who enjoy a thinking movie; people who enjoy films that comment on human behaviour
Exam is one of the first finds I came across on Netflix, and it’s still one of my favourites – so much so, I watched it twice. For those familiar with Canadian film Cube (and if you’re not, see it; it’s brilliant and also on Netflix), it’s a premise as claustrophobic and mind-warping.
The film opens with scenes of eight individuals in bathrooms, primping themselves. Although seemingly innocuous, pay attention; there’s some foreshadowing here. Our group of eight enters a strange, windowless room with desks, where a proctor explains that they have one final exam before one is selected for a highly sought after position at the company. The timer set, instructions given, the proctor exits, leaving only a security guard, the candidates, and a glowing timer, counting down… and eight blank papers, devoid of the question each has been told to expect to answer.
What ensues, as each seeks to outwit the others and determine how to win the position, is the brilliance and mindfuckery of the film.
Exam is a study in human psychology, specifically desperation and competition. Playing out nearly in real-time, we come to understand how much people have to lose, and how far they will go to win. It’s also clever as hell, and although I figured out the ending, I only did so towards the very end. Definitely worthy of your time!