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  • Writer's pictureGareth Bradwick

Choose or Die ★★

Toby Meakins

Starring Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Robert Englund, Eddie Marsan, Angela Griffin, Ryan Gage

With recent news that Netflix is losing subscribers for the first time, its content is in the spotlight more than ever before. With awards season behind us, can the powerhouse streamer keep the quality going or will it dip back in to its content churning ways?

Choose or Die sees a cursed game from the 80's make a comeback, stalking its players night after night, causing mayhem and bloodshed as they are asked to make difficult choices to get out of trouble.

Things start off interesting enough, with the forever watchable Eddie Marsan playing Mal, a down on his luck dad who decided to play the game for something to do. His choices have an instant impact in the real world, leaving his family in an absolute state and you soon get an idea of where this movie is heading, and that's straight into Netflix's content churn.

Don't get me wrong, there are some fun and creepy moments throughout. The film is at its best when the game is being plated. There's a nice travelling montage using 8-bit animation, as well as a bizarre cat and mouse chase. The most promising sequence comes quite early on when Kayal (Iola Evans) makes her waitress clean up after her. It's tense and creepy, but the film doesn't reach any higher after that flourish in the opening act.

Despite these pieces, the script is too bizarre to be coherent, and when we get towards finding out who's behind all of these goings-ons, the stakes aren't high enough for us to care about the consequences. Although there's enough here to keep us interested, if Netflix wants to keep its viewers, it may want to keep these B-movie horrors to a minimum.

Choose or Die available now on Netflix

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