Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: After firing up a lost 80s survival horror gamer a young coder unleashes a hidden curse that tears reality apart, forcing her to make terrifying decisions and face deadly consequences.
Review: Truth or Dare, Would You Rather, 13 Sins. While that last one doesn’t have three words in its title all of these films have a common thread and that’s they all have that “game show of death” feel to them.
The latest addition to what at this point has become its own sub-genre of horror is Choose or Die, and this time we have a retro twist thrown in as a young woman named Kayla (Iola Davis from The 100) finds an old text-based video game in her friend Isaac’s collection of 80’s memorabilia. The game is called The Curs>d (not a typo, that’s how it’s spelled) and when she plays it she quickly realises that the game not only knows exactly who she is and where she is, but can manipulate her reality in horrific ways. Burn or Bleed, Shoot or Stab, Choose or Die. You get the idea.
While the premise isn’t anything new I have to admit I found the narrative engaging. Maybe because I myself am a gamer who also enjoys all things 80s, but I also think the lead characters were fleshed out for the most part and delivered on their performances. I came to care for them, especially Isaac played by Asa Butterfield (Sex Education, Ender’s Game) who stole every scene he was in. The movie was also a lot more brutal than I thought it would’ve been, with a glass eating scene that will have you yelling at the protagonist to “Do something!”
Sadly, originality can get you only so far. The pacing does drag a lot in the first half and the story may have worked better as a 30-minute episode of Creepshow or Black Mirror than a full length film. The ending, while satisfactory, does feel like a setup for a sequel and I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a fan of this. It’s an old horror movie trope of sorts, the open-ended conclusion, and I for one think the focus should always be on the story you’re telling and not the story you’re GOING to tell.
Choose or Die is what I like to think of as a good starter movie for younger audiences that want to get into horror. It won’t end up in any true horror fan’s collection but it’s also nowhere near as bad as Truth or Dare which is saying a lot.
Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10
So have you seen Choose or Die? What did you think of it? And you can check out more death game-related horror content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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