From Fantasia 2017… “Game Of Death”

GOD posterA group of millennials bored at a weekend party with sex, drugs and alcohol find a vintage electronic board game called “Game Of Death”. Without thinking twice or even bothering to fully read the instructions, they start the game, finding out later that the game claims that it can’t be stopped until a certain number of people have been murdered or all the players are dead.

Dismissing this last instruction as a joke, or that some pieces from the game might be missing, the kids decide to continue the party and forget the whole thing, but suddenly one of the gang experiments a massive explosive headache (to put it lightly) and the rest of the group gets convinced that the game might be for real when another one of the players dies, starting a race against the clock to find more victims in their sleepy little town in order fro them to survive the mortal countdown. (hey, that is actually a cool name for another game!!)

GameofDeath_2“Game of Death” is a complicated film to recommend, it has a very cool premise, good action scenes, cool especial effects of the practical kind (That will always be appreciated by yours truly), gore, blood, sex, black humor and even incest (Hey, if you are a fan of “Game Of Thrones” don’t judge) but also has too many unlikeable characters that honestly don’t make us care for them or their survival, while that was our cream and butter on the slashers from the 80’s (let’s admit, we just wanted to see them die and root for the “bad guy”) in this film I got the impression that we were supposed to care.

The film had several routes that could take, and I am glad to see that it explored a lot of them in a very short time, I can’t say that I totally supported the motivations of the characters, but a lot of the times, their decisions made sense and seem logical (besides getting involved in the game, of course). Is easy to take the higher moral ground outside of their situation, but if we were on their shoes the question of “kill them or die” does not seem that easy to answer.

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One aspect that can trouble some of the viewers is that the movie jumps between formats very frequently and not always makes sense, being either that we are suddenly seeing a video conversation on a cell phone, or the POV of a victim crawling on the field just because someone on the production department thought it would look cool. Unfortunately there were also several shots with the dreaded “shaky drunken cam” that were in my opinion, not needed nor helpful, and even got annoying, there are also several inserts of video games scenes at random, and even a animated segment Ala “Natural Born Killers” that makes wonder if we need to smoke a joint before watching the film just to keep up with the writers (3-D could be a bonus option)

The film was directed by Sebastien Landry and Laurence Morais-Lagace, with a script penned by Edouard H. Bond, Philip Kalin-Hajdu, Sebastien Landry and Laurence Morais-Lagace. The film was produced by La Guerrilla (in Montreal) Rockzeline ( Paris) y Black Pills (also in Paris).

In conclusion, the film is worth watching at least once, and is a good example for aspiring filmmakers that you can mesh different weird ideas and still make an entertaining film (just make sure you got a couple of sympathetic characters). You might need to have some patience with this film, and dismiss some details that might not add up in the end… And have some sort of fetish with manatees.

Verdict 3/5.

Fantasia Film Festival is on its 21th edition, and has always been know for showing some of the best films in the Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi genres, currently running thru August 3rd. You can visit their official website to see more of the great material they are showing this year, and follow them in social media.

 

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