CHOOSE OR DIE on Netflix is a new horror movie. It’s a very familiar formula in many ways; A classic survival movie featuring a curse plot with supernatural elements. But who cares that it’s familiar when it works this well. Read our full Choose or Die movie review and find it on Netflix now!
CHOOSE OR DIE on Netflix is a new horror movie with a great cast. While the basic plot is familiar, it refrains from going over the top in the more unfortunate stereotypical ways. Instead, it’s set in a neighborhood that feels straight out of Candyman and with a plot driver that feels like a hybrid of It Follows and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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And not just because beloved horror icon Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) is the voice in the video game that holds the curse!
Continue reading our Choose or Die movie review below. It’s out on Netflix worldwide now.
Familiar but still feels fresh
Sure, Choose or Die does seem very familiar in many ways. From watching the trailer, I was intrigued and expected entertainment, but not much more. I mean, it does feature the classic survival movie formula with lots of creepy supernatural elements and a curse to drive the plot.
But who cares that it’s familiar when it works this well and manages to feel fresh and innovative.
Now, the game element itself isn’t the “fresh” part of the plot. Mainly because it isn’t used in a gimmicky way but rather in a retro way. The video game is from the 1980s which explains why Robert Englund is the voice.
I mean, of course, horror fans know who Robert Englund is, but he’s not a household name for the current teen generation on a wider scale. That will change soon, however, seeing as Robert Englund will be in the upcoming Stranger Things season 4.
Another element that is used elegantly in Choose or Die. And yes, for those horror fans that just want the bloody slasher elements, you will be getting those as well. In fact, the fast real death is downright brutal in its simplicity!
Iola Evans is the star of this story!
While the poster indicates that Iola Evans and Asa Butterfield co-star in this movie, it really is Iola Evans who is the main protagonist. She’s the one we follow throughout the movie, while we only really see Asa Butterfield when he’s interacting with her. Both do great jobs, but Iola Evans definitely has more to work with since she’s the heart and soul of this movie (for several reasons).
You might know Iola Evans from The 100 or Carnival Row. But really, she’s just getting started and has another three projects either in post-production or currently filming. In other words, you’ll be seeing more of her soon. After watching her as Kayla in Choose or Die, you’ll want to. She shows as much heart and brains as she does downright strength. All the makings of a final girl in this one!
Asa Butterfield is the star of Sex Education on Netflix, so you might know him from the series. Also, he played the title role in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011). He’s always great and this movie is no different. Even if his character is a little one-dimensional in some ways.
In other key roles, you’ll see Kate Fleetwood (The Wheel of Time), Angela Griffin (White Lines), Joe Bolland (Martyrs Lane), and the always brilliant Eddie Marsan (Feedback). In fact, Choose or Die opens with Eddie Marsan’s character finding the retro video game “Curs<r”.
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Also in Choose or Die, you’ll see a very strange character played by Ryan Gage (Angel of Decay). He’s a drug dealer but also interested in Kayla’s (Iola Evans) mom and an overall dirtbag. In this movie, Ryan Gage is the only one that doesn’t work for me. Everything from his dialect to his wardrobe and attitude just feels fake.
Since most of the actors in this movie are Brits speaking with American accents, it’s pretty impressive that only this one guy doesn’t quite cut it. Still, it interferes with the illusion whenever he’s on the screen and that’s a shame.
Watch Choose or Die on Netflix now!
Toby Meakins is the director of Choose or Die which is his feature film debut as a director. He has been directing short films since 2003, so he’s hardly new to directing. And it shows! From the pacing to the overall storytelling, this is a director that manages to make even the most familiar and simple scenes draw you in.
We expect great things (specifically horror movies or series) from Toby Meakins in the future!
Toby Meakins was also one of the writers who came up with the story along with Matthew James Wilkinson and Simon Allen. The actual screenplay was written by Simon Allen.
What I enjoyed most about Choose or Die (apart from the good cast and plot) was the fact that the effects rarely go over the top. Sure, you get the brutal bloody scenes, but it’s not a gory slasher. It’s a more realistic survival story in terms of how people are injured (and killed, of course).
Choose or Die is out on Netflix globally from April 15, 2022.
Director: Toby Meakins
Writer: Simon Allen
Stars: Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Eddie Marsan, Robert Englund, Kate Fleetwood, Ryan Gage, Angela Griffin, Joe Bolland
In pursuit of an unclaimed $125,000 prize, a broke college dropout (Iola Evans) decides to play an obscure, 1980s survival computer game. But The Game curses her, and she’s faced with dangerous choices and reality-warping challenges. After a series of unexpectedly terrifying moments, she realizes she’s no longer playing for the money, but for her life and so teams up with her friend Isaac (Asa Butterfield). The Game locks her into an inescapable cycle of mind-bending horror. Stopping is not an option. It’s choose or die!