This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Fantasia 2017
A group of friends play a board game that literally blows their minds in Game of Death. While gathered together for a party, Tom (Samuel Earle), Beth (Victoria Diamond), Ashley (Emelia Hellman), Mary-ann (Catherine Saindon), Tyler (Erniel Baez Duenas), Kenny (Nick Serino), and Matthew (Thomas Vallieres) find an begin playing a mysterious board game called “Game of Death.” According to the rules of the game, 24 people have to be killed, with one of the players being executed if they fail to commit a murder before time runs out. The friends initially laugh off the rules of the game, though things become deadly serious when one of the groups’ head suddenly explodes. It is still or be killed as the remaining friends try to survive the Game of Death.
A co-production between La Guerrilla of Montreal and Rockzeline and Blackpills of Paris, Game of Death is a film that can be described as Battle Royale meets Jumanji. The film began life as a webseries for filmmakers Sebastien Landry and Laurence Baz, before being edited together as a feature length film. Even though the plot of the film involves a killer board game, it seems that Game of Death is more a commentary of the violence in video games, which is illustrated in the film during a montage that features pixelated versions of the characters.
Game of Death is a film that is sure to satisfy gorehounds, since the film is full of come pretty impressive practical gore effects by Rémy Couture (Discopathe). However, even though the bloodshed of the film is well-done, the actual plot of Game of Death is seriously lacking. None of lead teenagers are particularly likable and there are some moments of the film that come off a somewhat mean spirited. Game of Death might have some impressive gore, but it isn’t a film that I would particularly care about seeing again (or recommending to other).