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Review: Choose or Die (2022)

Slower than waiting for Dial-up internet.

Before watching Choose or Die (2022), I knew absolutely nothing about this movie. Truly, I didn’t even know that it was on Netflix until a few days ago! Judging by the lack of publicity I’ve seen for this movie, I would say that Netflix was trying to keep this new horror movie a secret. I really can’t say that I blame them. If my name were attached to this clunker of a movie, I’d try to distance myself from it as well. What’s most disappointing about Choose or Die is that there are brief moments of genuine intrigue or entertainment but they ultimately get lost in the convoluted and boring mess that is the majority of this movie. 

Credit: / Netflix

Choose or Die tells the story of Kayla, a broke computer coder who comes across an old 1980s survival horror game. When it soon becomes clear that the game contains a hidden curse, Kayla’s reality begins to be torn apart and she finds herself being forced to make decisions that yield deadly consequences. 

I’m always down for any kind of horror movie so already, I was pretty on board with this movie. But apart from that, I have to hand it to Choose or Die. The movie begins with an engaging and slightly horrifying start that had me interested to see how the rest of the movie was going to play out. Dare I say, I was even excited to keep watching! I was hopeful that the rest of the movie would keep up that momentum and be a slam dunk for Netflix. Unfortunately, what little good will the movie manages to build in its opening minutes disappears just as quickly. That’s such a shame. Nothing ruins an interesting premise quite like a lacklustre execution. Far too much focus is put on Kayla’s drug-addicted mom and the death of her younger brother and not nearly enough is devoted to genuine horror or spookiness. Nothing about Choose or Die is even mildly thrilling or frightening. When I wasn’t bored by the dynamics of Kayla’s family, I was bored by all of the coding and technical jargon. Yawn. 

Initially I was thrilled with the idea of Choose or Die. I thought that this movie would have a kind of sadistic truth or dare vibe to it but in actuality, it possesses all the excitement of playing The Oregon Trail. Or worse, sitting on the couch and watching your friend play video games. This movie was just so dang boring. It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, which in theory, is an awesome idea for a horror movie, but any potential for intrigue or scares is completely bungled and wasted. I think this is just one more piece of evidence that movies based on or about video games are a bad idea. Choose or Die is only about an hour and 18 minutes and believe me when I say that it’s too long a runtime. I don’t mean this as a bad thing, but given the premise and the short runtime, maybe Choose or Die should have been adapted into an episode of Black Mirror (2011 – present) or an update of Goosebumps (1995 – 1998). Perhaps than it would have been mildly successful.

Credit: / Netflix

The only shred of praise that I can give to Choose or Die is that the main two actors, Iola Evans and Asa Butterfield, deliver solid performances. It’s a shame that they’re squandered in a movie as lifeless and forgettable as this one. Featuring cheap and lazy jump scares that aren’t even effective and an air of pretentiousness that isn’t fitting for a horror movie of this quality, I declared Choose or Die to be GAME OVER after the first five minutes. 

Have you seen Choose or Die?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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