Exam – UK, 2009


’80 minutes. 8 candidates. 1 answer. No question.’

Exam is a 2009 British psychological horror thriller film directed by Stuart Hazeldine from a screenplay co-written with Simon Garrity. It stars Colin Salmon, Chris Carey and Jimi Mistry.

Eight candidates dress for what appears to be an employment assessment exam; they enter a room and sit down at individual desks. Each desk contains a question paper with the word “candidate”, followed by a number, from one to eight.


The Invigilator, a representative of the company named DATAPREV, explains that the exam is 80 minutes and consists of only one question, but there are three rules: they must not talk to the Invigilator or the armed guard at the door, spoil their paper, or leave the room. If they do, they will be disqualified…



“The tale is ingeniously developed, the suspense well maintained, and you’ll think more highly of it if you have to leave five minutes before the disappointing pay-off.” Philip French, The Guardian


“Stuart Hazeldine’s debut is grabby enough to begin with, but loses its way when the characters start tumbling over themselves to be as stereotypically dog-eat-dog as possible. It’s The Apprentice with obligatory torture, and a damp squib of an ending.” Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

“Although the only truly compelling character among this rum bunch is City bully boy Luke Mably, the fact that most of the candidates remain ciphers is somehow fitting – they’re all grist to the corporate mill.  Starting strong, but dipping in the middle, the film runs its tight little concept right up to the final countdown, ensuring the audience is wrong-footed as often as the rapidly dwindling candidates, without ever cheating us outright.” Total Film


Cast and characters:

  • Adar Beck as Dark
  • Gemma Chan as Chinese woman
  • Nathalie Cox as Blonde
  • John Lloyd Fillingham as Deaf
  • Chukwudi Iwuji as Black
  • Pollyanna McIntosh as Brunette
  • Jimi Mistry as Brown
  • Colin Salmon as the invigilator
  • Chris Carey as the guard

Wikipedia | IMDb

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