Choose or Die 2022 hollywood movies review

Even the smallest feature-length film is a considerable logistical enterprise, so it’s a bit flummoxing how little thought appears to have been put into “Choose or Die.” While there have been worse-crafted, even more routinely formulaic Netflix horror efforts, this one takes the cake for sheer whateverness of barely-there plot, concept, character detailing and so on. If some movies now seem designed to be consumed on phones, this one demands so little attention, for such scant rewards, you could probably watch it while vacuuming or doing yoga without missing anything important.

Not that first-time feature director Toby Meakins or his cast do slipshod work. But their labors are expended on a “viral” curse premise (à la “The Ring,” “Pulse,” “Unfriended,” “One Missed Call,” etc.) so indifferently defined and developed, the result recalls the archaic term “quota quickie,” which referred to low-budget 1930s British films made by Parliamentary decree just to keep the industry chugging. “Choose or Die” may substitute supernatural deaths for music-hall songs, yet the air of clock-punching effort on an utterly disposable product is much the same.

The opening scene introduces Eddie Marsan as a husband in an upscale home where his wife (Kate Fleetwood) and son (Pete Machale) are at each other’s throats. So dad hides out in his man cave, playing a retro video game that pops up on screen out of the blue, brusquely demanding he make creepy-sounding choices like “his tongue or her ear?” When he refuses to “play,” a sudden din puts him in agony. But when he does choose, the consequences turn out very grim for his argumentative loved ones. And the game will apparently keep dishing out such brutal punishment until he passes it on to another unlucky party.

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