The Stream: Not necessarily scary throughout
The Big Screen: Very graphic and weird take on video games
The Final Bill: A quick horror movie that lacks some sense but provides some yucky moments– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Toby Meakins
Writers: Simon Allen, Toby Meakins, Matthew James Wilkinson
Stars: Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Robert Englund
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes
Production Companies: Anton, Stigma Films
Platform: Netflix released April 15, 2022
Streamers, you know I’m a sucker for a horror movie. Of course, right on cue Netflix comes out with an Easter horror flick for me, Choose or Die. It has a retro movie like a “Strangers Things”-vibe meets Saw. Doesn’t that description sound cool? Either way, Choose or Die follows Kayla after she finds and begins to play a lost 80s survival horror game. Kayla tries to bring this old-school game into the 21st century with her coding skills, but she unleashes a bit more than she bargained for into her life. Kayla’s forced to make some terrifying choices – keep playing or die. I know you’re intrigued.
The concept is pretty cool, but the execution is beyond me. There are a few other movies that have the main character choosing between the lesser of two evils. Truth or Dare is one that comes to mind. Here, just like other movies I just kept thinking, “Why and how does this thing control people?” I’ve watched and I still don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense to me why and how it controls people and things around them. I’m really confused about the ending as well. Why would this make any sense? It makes for a unique situation so I’m all for it; but, just can we make movies make sense sometimes. Sure, some may be saying that it’s clearly a fictional horror movie and it doesn’t need to make sense; but, I beg the differ. Add a nice 10 minutes of context into it and help this viewer out. I’m not asking for much just a bit of continuity to give the movie some believability. This movie could easily go from horror movie to I’m-not-touching-a-Resident-Evil-videogame-ever-again with a little bit of care.
Let’s talk about the limited cast. The two stars do a pretty good job for what the movie is. I feel their fear and pain. What I’m really trying to figure out is how one goes from an Academy Award movie like Hugo and Ender’s Game to this in the matter of 9 years. I know child actors tend to fall off but half-way through those 11 years he was in a couple other big name movies. Anyway, that has nothing to do with this particular movie. Asa Butterfield was alright for this in the fawning boy role, I guess. Iola Evans, on the other hand, while not groundbreaking, did a very good job of conveying the panic, pain, fear, etc. needed for this role. Let’s see if she gets more “scream queen” roles in the future.
With that said, for a streaming movie in April, Choose or Die gives horror fans a little bit of a fix. It’s not groundbreaking, not that scary, but it definitely gets the “I’m looking over my shoulder” bug for gamers going. The movie is strangely imaginative and unimaginative at the same time. Either way, grab a bowl of popcorn for this streaming flick. Parents go home and break all of your kid’s games just in case, you’ve been warned.