Is Choose or Die boring, very scary, or worth watching? Let’s find out! Today, Cuban VR decided to join Rotten Tomatoes and other well-known media to share our own very first critique of Choose or Die. You will also be provided with a link to Choose or Die Netflix catalog at the ending of this post.
The line that separates the fantastic from the horror is quite tenuous — almost a matter of perspective. A slight change in tone would be enough for the classic Jumanji, for example, to stop being a magical children’s story and become a horror film. And the new Choose or Die tries to do just that by blending this fantastic element of the game with the absurd violence of Saw. It’s an interesting turn, but one that the film has no idea how to exploit.
The new Netflix film is purely and solely about its concept: what would happen if the choices you made within a game had real consequences for the people around you? It’s a promising idea that shows how fantastic and horror are close, but it is so poorly developed that the film becomes silly.
The big question is whether the feature is just a good concept surrounded by completely empty scenarios. This is so true that as soon as you get used to the idea of the game, you start to wonder what the story is. And it’s not because it doesn’t work, but because it doesn’t even exist.
As stated, “Choose or Die” is entirely based on its concept. The story of the failed young programmer who comes across an old computer game from the 1980s as a way to solve her problems is just an excuse to present each of the challenges, sewing together situations to create something that resembles a script, but which is not even enough. close to it.
It sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Leaving aside the dynamic of the cursed game that messes with reality and imposes real consequences on your choices — a more hardcore Jumanji, so to speak —, the entire plot is played without any weight or construction and discarded shortly thereafter when these pieces do not fit. are more interested in the game.
This is quite evident when we look at Kayla’s (Iola Evans’) family drama. She is this programmer who has a sub-employment cleaning a shed, who lives clean, and who needs the money to help her mother, who suffers from psychological problems since the death of her son in an accident in a swimming pool. It is for this reason that she is excited when she discovers the existence of Curse, a retro game that promises to pay a few thousand dollars to whoever finishes it.
The point is that none of these elements of the character’s history carry real weight within the plot. In fact, all this background is only to be used at some stage of the game and is discarded right after.
This is very clear in the supposed guilt that Kayla carries over her brother’s death and which resulted in her mother’s problems. The game takes advantage of this and forces her to relive the accident at a time that should have been very traumatizing. However, after this stage of the game, the boy’s death and the protagonist’s pain are never mentioned, being discarded after just over 40 minutes of the film.
And this is not an isolated problem. Everything in Choose or Die exists for the game and only for the game. Even Asa Butterfield’s character (Sex Education) suffers from this condition, even though he is one of the faces on the poster. The nerd addicted to retro pop culture embarks on this macabre story to help his friend, participates in a phase, and disappears without any major impact on the protagonist. Even the mystery behind the shed where Kayla works is something that goes without saying.
So, it doesn’t take long for you to realize that the film has no story to tell. At most, they are justifications for the next phase of the game, and that will be forgotten as soon as the feature already prepares for the next level. It’s the kind of storytelling so poor that even 1980s video games weren’t limited to it.
What was bad, gets worse
This script attempt is so disjointed that it freaks out at a certain point and decides it doesn’t want to be a horror movie anymore and wants to be something that tries to approach a superhero. There is even an attempt to make an impact phrase by saying (more than once) that “a curse can also be a gift.”
But obviously, it doesn’t work. If Choose or Die struggles to sustain itself in the face of a simple story of a girl trying to survive a cursed game, just imagine when he intends to bring an extra message to all of this. The result is a twist that takes aim at Death Note and lands on absolutely nothing.
Is Choose or Die worth watching?
In the end, it appears that a teenager who is only interested in the absurd and the gory and not in the narrative that ties all of these things together wrote Choose or Die. And notice that I’m not even talking about meanings beyond these images because that would be asking too much. Netflix’s new feature is not even able to deliver the basics, which is a story that makes sense at its most superficial layer.
The proposal itself is good, but it is not enough to support a script. In both Jumanji and Saw, the stories aren’t just about games and violence, but also about fantasy and horror. These elements are just there to connect this great plot that revolves around its characters.
It’s the most fundamental thing in any screenplay. No matter how interesting the idea is, it must serve to tell the story of those characters, and none of that happens here. And it’s ironic that “Choose or Die” made such a poor decision for himself. The result is there: a production destined to die of its own irrelevance.
Choose or Die is in the Netflix catalog.