I really wanted to enjoy Toby Meakins’ Choose or Die.
After all, I tend to like ‘ghost in the machine’-type horror (which is what I call movies where machines – computers in particular – interact with ghosts, spirits, demons and whatnot) and a cursed video game is definitely in that ballpark.
So, I went into the movie pretty optimistic, only to have my hopes dashed relatively early (almost from the third or forth frame).
My runaway train of doubt began with a mother arguing with her son, which got heated pretty quickly. This was the moment the actor playing the son, Lance – I think it’s Ryan Gage though I could be wrong since he’s not on screen long enough to be memorable – accent slipped and for a moment he sounded as British as he actually is.
Though British actors play Americans all the time, like Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), though the problem in the case of Choose or Die is that the entire movie – I’m reasonably certain – while shot in the UK, pretends not very convincingly to be the United States.
As I mention in my video, movie making is a pact between the film makers and the audience, where the latter promises to relax their discernment to allow themselves to become enmeshed in the spell weaved by the movie.
And if either side breaks the deal the movie suffers, and this is what Choose or Die does by introducing unnecessary barriers to enjoying the movie, such as placing it in the United States.
If you watch the movie there’s no reason that it couldn’t take place in the UK, which would lend it an authenticity it’s currently lacking.
And I understand that it’s a movie and none of it’s real but that’s even more reason to at least maintain an illusion of reality.