Choose or Die parents guide

Choose or Die Parent Guide

The more the movie tries to explain the cause of the carnage, the less interesting it becomes.

Overall D

Netflix: After booting up an 80s game, the players are horrified to discover that the game is enforcing itself on reality, with horrifying and lethal consequences.

Release date April 15, 2022

Violence D
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is Choose or Die rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Choose or Die TV-MA for language, smoking

Run Time: 84 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Kayla (Iola Evans), a broke college dropout, has been making ends meet by cleaning corporate offices at night. She also looks after her mother, Thea (Angela Griffin), who is housebound and has struggled with drug addiction since the drowning death of her youngest child. Tough as that is, things are about to get a lot worse.

While playing what she assumed was a harmless 80’s text-based video game called CURS>R, Kayla finds that the game can influence reality in horrifying and dangerous ways, forcing a nearby waitress to start eating broken glass. When Kayla survives that first level, the game ominously promises another challenge at the same time the next night. Terrified, she turns to her friend Isaac (Asa Butterfield) a computer-obsessed aspiring game developer, to help her find a way to stop the game from hurting anyone else. But she’s going to need more than IT support to end the nightmare…

Although Iola Evans does her best to keep this gory indie horror on the rails, the film seems determined to get lost in the weeds. As always, the more the movie explains the actual cause of all the bloody fun, the less fun it is. With a few exceptions, studios seem incapable of conjuring up a moderately scary explanation, or at least something which isn’t going to give the audience an acute case of tonal whiplash. The closer we get to uncovering the cause of the carnage, the less I was able to care.

And trust me, there’s plenty of carnage to be had. I have some major dental sensitivity, and it’s just about the only thing in movies that can still ick me right out, so the scene of a young woman being forced to eat broken glass just about made me shed my skin and slither into the vents to hide. Of course, the movie doesn’t stop there – I’ll also give a more general warning that if you’re not a fan of needles, you’re really going to hate the end of this movie. This mélange of gruesome imagery is accompanied by a hefty helping of profanity, which may be understandable in context, but is not appropriate for family audiences.

But if you’re a committed horror fan, looking for a way to kill about 80 minutes, and you just love that low-budget slasher feel, then this is the film for you. You will be completely undeterred by the increasing goofiness of the plot, the occasionally dodgy effects, or Asa Butterfield’s indeterminate American accent. You’re just here for the broken glass, which is good, because there isn’t much else.

Directed by Toby Meakins. Starring Asa Butterfield, Iola Evans, Kate Fleetwood. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release April 15, 2022. Updated

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Choose or Die
Rating & Content Info

Why is Choose or Die rated TV-MA? Choose or Die is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, smoking

Violence: A person’s tongue is cut out. A character is forced to eat broken glass. People are choked. There are references to a child drowning. Individuals are seen cutting themselves and others with a variety of implements. A character is forced to eat their own arm. People are shot. A person is forced to slam their own face into a sink full of needles.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 66 uses of sexual expletives, 15 scatological curses, and occasional use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character is implied to have a serious drug addiction, and drug paraphernalia is seen, no one uses drugs on screen.

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Choose or Die Parents' Guide

How do Kayla and Isaac try to stop the game? What do you think you would do in their situation?

Have you ever been hooked on a vide game? Did it have any negative effects in your life?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This film has some similarities to Countdown. Those of you looking for that low-budget horror fun should try Willy’s Wonderland, Come True, Bright Hill Road, Ultrasound, Level 16, Don’t Say Its Name, and The Devil Below. Those looking for horror which forces its characters into impossible (and grotesque) choices will enjoy Escape Room, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, Saw 3D, Jigsaw, Ready or Not, and Truth or Dare.

Robert Englund, who plays a fictionalized version of himself in this film, gained fame as horror icon Freddy Kreuger in Nightmare on Elm Street.