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'Game of Death' Toronto After Dark 2017 Review: A fun but uneven exercise in over-the-top violence

October 18, 2017Sherry Li

It’s kill or be killed in Game of Death, the ridiculous and over-the-top horror-thriller from the directing duo of Sebastien Landry and Laurence Morais-Lagace, which centers on a group of friends who discover that the game they’re playing really expects them to commit murder — or be slaughtered themselves.

It’s a silly concept, and the movie is certainly charming in its own head-exploding kind of way. Visually, the film is quite interesting, with video game-inspired animations, aspect ratio changes and the inclusion of Snapchat and social media videos being creative choices that largely pay off. However, the pacing is uneven, with some scenes dragging on far too long, and the characters are fairly flat and underdeveloped. Even though Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond and the rest of the cast make the most of what they’re given, it still feels like a missed opportunity.

Ultimately, Game of Death takes a little too long to get interesting, but when it does get rolling, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. While it’s not necessarily a perfect horror movie — nor a traditional one — it can be quite fun, however, and some viewers may enjoy it purely for its off-the-wall concept and unique style.

Game of Death is receiving its Toronto premiere at Toronto After Dark 2017.

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