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I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started watching Tangent Room, a science fiction thriller from Björn Engström. The plot involves a group of four scientists trapped in a room with an electrified door. They must solve a puzzle that will prevent our universe and another parallel one from colliding.

On the one hand, Tangent Room picked up a pile of awards in its festival run and scored distribution through Epic Pictures. On the other, with the exception of The Laplace’s Demon, movies centred around math tend to be as exciting as a high school algebra class. This falls somewhere in the middle.

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The film starts off with a voice-over explaining some scientific theories before getting into the plot. Kate (Vee Vimolmal), Carol (Jenniffer Lila), Sandra (Lisa Bearpark), and David (Håkan Julander) are four brilliant scientists. They’ve been gathered by the mysterious, and perhaps dead, Dr. Wahlstein (Daniel Epstein). He greets them via video recording, (of course), and informs them that the door is electrified, and they can’t leave until they solve the problem he poses to them.

Things get off to a very slow start with loads of bickering between the four of them. However, once the full stakes are known, and bizarre events start occurring, things pick up a bit. Not that it ever gets truly exciting, but it does get interesting.

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Given its plot and 65-minute running time, Tangent Room feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. The high level mathematical formulas and theories being tossed around are a lot more daunting than their dialogue, though. When it gets away from that though, it tends to be interesting, especially during the film’s second half.

Tangent Room is one for those more interested in the science of science fiction rather than effects-heavy action. Epic Pictures has had good luck with this kind of thing in the past, releasing films like Radius. If that’s you, then this should be worth your time when it’s released on VOD on March 5, 2019.

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