Game of Death

Six friends on a lazy summer day, and Tyler rolling up in the work delivery van having just finished his shift at Pizza Hawt makes seven of them splashing about in the pool, playing drinking games and generally behaving as a group of carefree twentysomethings, vain, selfish and spoiled.

The challenge of Spin the Bottle waning, they turn to the console named Game of Death, each of the players required to touch a finger to the surface to commit to the rules, a drop of blood extracted sealing the promise and drawing the fury of the friends who then scoff when they are told they must kill twenty four people in order to win.

Returning to the business of partying and drinking, the Game of Death is forgotten until Matthew’s head explodes, the first forfeit for failing to abide by the rules; common sense flying out the window along with Kenny’s brain matter, second to default, the remaining five must rack up twenty two further kills with the counter running down.

Directed by Sebastien Landry and Laurence Morais-Lagace, at no point does Game of Death expect to be taken seriously or ask for sympathy for the protagonists, gun-toting Tom (Samuel Earle) easily adapting to the rules and indiscriminate in his bodycount if it saves his own skin: “I’m not playing god, I’m playing the Game of Death.”

With Tom and his girlfriend Beth (Victoria Diamond) taking the easy route to high scoring at a palliative care centre, it’s up to Tyler and Ashley (Erniel Baez and Emelia Hellman) to stop them, even if that just means they’re playing the game themselves and inheriting the established score of their more proactive friends.

Outrageously messy, Game of Death is as meaningless as might be expected of anything where the sole goal is the maximum carnage in the minimum time and no attempt is expended to make the nihilistic slackers likeable, but more frustrating is the final scene which imposes the same circumstances on what would have potentially been a more promising situation.

Game of Death is available for digital download from Thursday 26th November