Game of Death
Canada/ France, 73 min
Dir. Sebastien Landry, Laurence Baz Morais
An afternoon of partying turns into a bloodbath for a group of teens when they decide to play a mysterious board game, the Game of Death. The high-stakes game requires them to kill two dozen people or face a truly horrific demise themselves. The clock is ticking and survival trumps loyalty as the group embarks on a violent killing spree.
Written and directed by Laurence “Baz” Morais and Sebastien Landry, the film (originally conceived as a TV series) dazzles and dizzies with a manic energy that is borderline hypnotic (or, perhaps, just borderline). The undeniably sexy cast in all their bathing-suit-and-blood-splattered glory offers up surprisingly natural, authentic performances reminiscent of the young crew seen in 2014’s It Follows. Like that film, this film also possesses a soundtrack and sound design that are very much startling, unique characters in their own right. The comparisons to It Follows stop there, as this bombastic work stylistically hews closer to the Peter Jackson’s earlier films or even Gregg Araki. It’s impossible to predict every turn the film takes, and it’s even more alarming how much I cheered with each one. I’m a little revolted with myself right now and love the film for eliciting that feeling. The top notch gore on display and immersive camera work truly have this film succeeding on every level.
Oh, SPOILER ALERT, then there’s the stuff about manatees and a dash of incest thrown in for good measure. Yeah, I had to write that sentence. Well done, Morais and Landry. Just well fucking done. I can’t wait to play again