CHOOSE OR DIE (REVIEW)
Dir. Toby Meakins
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
CHOOSE OR DIE wears its idols on its sleeves. A faceless cameo from Robert Englund, countless references to the 80s, retro gaming mechanics and a lengthy shot of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET poster, this is a film from a filmmaker who adores the genre, accompany that with a pulsing soundtrack from The Prodigy's Liam Howlett and a scene stealing Eddie Marsan and it's a combination that is bound to succeed, so why does it fail so hard?
For a film that opens like an attention grabbing b-movie that pits it's victims in a choose or die situation akin to WOULD YOU RATHER mixed with CHEAP THRILLS, the lack of any visibility of the result of the choices becomes quickly void of any deeper investment in what the increasingly grizzly choices lead to, strangely, the further the game goes, the less you see and with the movie only really showing 2 players, both of whom survive to the end, the potential for a new SAW-like franchise is quickly squandered in favour for a more family friendly version.
Even with Asa Butterfield and Angela Griffin can't save this and even hold back from performances that have been better in their career. A mostly British cast and visibly unsurprisingly filmed in the UK, it's a strange and often distracting take to set it in the US with the cast putting on alien accents to how the film looks and feels.
Its concept is horror movie gold but it's execution is so poor that it doesn't warrant more than a passing 90 minutes which just beg for more.