THE FRIENDSHIP GAME is a new horror mystery out in theaters and on demand. It does have some good ideas but is really lacking in execution. It’s basically very messy. Read our full The Friendship Game movie review here!

THE FRIENDSHIP GAME is a horror mystery that has a plot revolving around an object. In other words, it’s a familiar horror plot that you’ll recognize from movies such as Wish Upon or – of course – Hellraiser. To name just two of the many in this horror subgenre.

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While this one is definitely off to an intriguing beginning, it quickly goes off the rails. It’s a shame since it also has a lot going for it.

Continue reading our The Friendship Game movie review below. Find it in theaters and on demand from November 11, 2022.

Demands a lot of its viewer

As already mentioned, The Friendship Game does have some good ideas. It’s just that it’s very messy to watch and follow. There are jumps back and forth for the longest time. Something that could have worked if the storytelling wasn’t so dead-set on keeping the audience almost entirely in the dark.

It takes a long time before we’re really allowed to see something that even remotely resembles “the full picture”.

The actors, the special effects, and the overall production quality really do work very well. What does not work is the execution of telling a fairly simple story. At first, it’s intriguing. Then it gets a little irritating that we’re constantly kept in the dark and only getting bits and pieces. Ultimately, I just didn’t care.

The Friendship Game – Review | Horror Mystery

The core cast of The Friendship Game horror mystery

The actors in The Friendship Game really do their best with what they have to work with. And they actually have a lot to work with. There are bits of the story throughout the movie that are awesome. It’s the whole that is so much smaller than the sum of these parts.

Peyton List is billed as the main star of this horror mystery, and you’ll recognize her if you watched one of the few movies we’ve even given 1 out of 5. She starred in the title role of Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman (2021) which is a dreadful movie. However, it is in no way her fault!

The star isn’t really “just” Peyton List since the core cast consists of four characters. Four friends. The other three are portrayed by Kelcey Mawema (A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting), Brendan Meyer (Color Out of Space), and Kaitlyn Santa Juana (The Flash).

Plus a strange younger kid (played by Watchmen‘s Dylan Schombing) with a story we keep skirting around. Just one more annoying element that toys with the audience with no intention of giving an ultimate reward.

You can watch The Friendship Game now!

Scooter Corkle is the director of The Friendship Game. He previously wrote and directed the mystery thriller Hollow in the Land (2017). The screenplay was written by Damien Ober (The OA) and I have no idea if this movie has been edited in a crazy way or if the story was this confusing to begin with.

I really do not mind that I have to think for myself or that there’s a mystery. What I do mind is constantly getting a new take on a story while never even getting the end to any of them. One character seems to also just exist in a sort of vacuum, where we never truly get to the bottom of his arc.

In other words, please note that this is the kind of movie that is (even more) impossible to follow if you’re checking your phone throughout the 87-minute runtime. So, if you want to get the most out of this story, you need to put your phone away and focus.

THE FRIENDSHIP GAME premieres in theaters, on-demand, and digital on November 11, 2022.

Details

Director: Scooter Corkle
Writer: Damien Ober
Cast: Peyton List, Kaitlyn Santa Juana, Brendan Meyer, Kelcey Mawema, Dylan Schombing, Miriam Smith, Jennifer Copping

Plot

The Friendship Game follows a group of teens as they come across a strange object that tests their loyalties to each other and has increasingly destructive consequences the deeper into the game they go.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina