Breathing Room  - Alex
Director: John Suits Gabriel Cowan
Starring: Ailsa Marshall Michael McLafferty David Higlen
Saw seems to have inspired some clones. In reality this follows the original entry in the fact that it's a closed room, but then it goes into Cube territory. Everything goes back to Cube of course. Right off the bat, unknown forces state that there are rules, and only those who follow them will survive. The person we follow from the start enters mid-game, and there's already a body count, so apparently a few haven't been following the rules.
After a short while, we do see the face of someone who is supposedly behind the scenes. He further enforces the idea that people need to play by the books, then he disappears and we'll left with an hour of character development. Not that there is a way around it, since there is only one room and several people to fill the time. Off the bat, it seems there's the odd assortment of teachers and businessmen. Each secretly received some personal clues and rules upon their arrival, though they don't divulge what they are until later. What we do know is that there is a locked gun box, and someone received half a key. The gun, when released is empty, further adding some mystery to it's reason for existing.
So far this does follow the Saw handbook, as clues combine and provide some small clarity to the situation. However Saw provided the chance to beat the odds if the person had the guts, and in turn learn a lesson, however painful. Here, despite rules being the cornerstone of the premise, it turns into a last-man standing contest. Part of the way through, the leader reveals there's a rapist, molester, and murderer among the group. Through twists, it's never who you think and as people turn against each other and blood is shed, it is revealed that the wrong ones were killed.
It's far from a bad movie. Despite taking cues from other movies and not doing as good of a job, I read that the movie's budget was about $20,000. Granted there were only two sets, but once you divide that amongst the crew, you know it was a labor of love, and you can't fault as much for the result.