Movie Review: Choose or Die (2022)

I’ve seen enough of these curse game movies to have low expectations of the genre. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Choose or Die. While it may not leave a lasting impression, it isn’t the worst way to spend two hoursI honestly believe it to be one of the better films in the genre. 

Choose or Die is about a girl Thea who is really good at computers. As she is desperately trying to find ways to make some extra money, she stumbles onto a text-based RPG that promises a healthy payout. While the game seems innocent, it comes with some deadly consequences. Now she is trapped in the game of her life. Will she win it all, or die trying?

Choose or Die does enough to keep it from being another bad entry to the genre, but it is far from perfect. The acting is solid, and some games are creative, but the narrative is lacking. Thea is a solid protagonist. Usually, movies like this feature a bland misrepresented character that is inexplicably perfect when the plot needs her to be. Thea on the other hand is shown early on to be a capable computer engineer. It isn’t random or unbelievable when she plays the game competently or when she overcomes obstacles. She is also likable enough, although there is some bad writing that keeps her from being better. 

The games Thea is forced to play are fun and creative for the most part. This movie does a decent job converting text-based RPG elements into a realistic and suspenseful challenge that Thea must overcome. Most importantly, these games are winnable. In some of the Saw movies or that dumb Escape Room movie, the games aren’t winnable. Instead of the suspenseful ride of watching someone trying to win their life, you get torture porn. While there is nothing wrong with that type of genre, it isn’t horror. You don’t see much torture in Choose or Die instead it becomes a very intense puzzle where the choices are difficult, but not impossible. Unfortunately, not all of the games are created equal. This will hurt this movie’s rewatchability.

My only complaint is with the writing. There are a few very cheesy moments that destroy the tension. Terrible one-liners, cheesy outcomes, and the pointless scenes with the drug dealer kind of slow the movie down and distract from the more creative bits. There is also a lot of buildup to a very disappointing ending that almost ruins the experience. 

You can watch this movie on Netflix. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it, it’s not bad if you have nothing else to do.

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