Tonight at 7pm Toronto After Dark unveils Game of Death with its Toronto premiere at Scotiabank Theatre.
Imagine if Jumanji made you kill people. That’s the impetus behind the film as a group of millennials find themselves playing a board game where they have to kill (or be killed) to survive. This is a great idea, and the concept, like the game board design, is surprisingly solid.
With a lot of gore, and some pretty cool kills (the Pizza Hawt car sequence is sweet) this one is sure to satisfy the blood lust of the After Dark crowd. The film is a lot of fun, and balances a line of social commentary as it hints at violence in games versus violence in reality.
The only thing that kept me from truly enjoying the film is the fact that none of the characters are likeable in the least. You know that the lead, Tom (Sam Earle), is going to be down with the game because, well, he looks like a serial killer… he buttons the top button of his polo shirt, tucks it in, and has social issues – it’s obvious that we are going to follow his journey.
It’s a solid film, and has a great concept, perhaps I am just too old to be able to relate to the characters, none of them are truly redeemable, nor do they seem to be hung up on the moral quandary of taking a human life. Yes, the subject is brought up, but with a runtime of an hour and fifteen minutes, its obvious that no one is really going to expound upon it (nor does the game’s timer give you the time to do so).
There are things I really loved about this film; the low tech nature of the game board itself – it looks like it could really exist; the animated sequence, the video game sequence – both of them are solidly put together, and make a sly nod of social commentary on their subject matter.
This one is bound to entertain tonight when it is unveiled at Toronto After Dark, I just wish the characters had been more fleshed out, and honestly, maybe had one or two of them be a bit more likeable.
Despite that, this one was a fun ride, and had some solid, bloody effects.
There is a fantastic concept at the heart of this film, and I hope it generates some discussion, and perhaps somewhere down the road it can spawn a sequel that will let some characters dwell on the moral context at hand.
Check it out tonight!!
What are you watching After Dark?