A group of twenty-something “teenagers” decide to play a murder game in a storage facility at closing time. They soon realize that someone is playing the game for real.
The Murder Game
is an unabashed love letter to old-school B-movie slasher flicks. Everything is here; a group of teens find themselves trapped with a killer, while one by one they get killed off. Yes, you’ve seen it all before, dumb characters making dumb moves and separating from the group and we even get a little sex and drugs to spice it up. But guess what… it works. This reminded me of an earlier low-budget horror show called Hide and Go Shriek
, which was also incredibly flawed, but it wasn’t trying to be anything more than what it was. The same goes for this game. When a group of teens play this murder game in a storage facility, you get what you expect, yet director Robert Harari
knows what he is doing. With a low-budget, he uses what he has and really makes the kind of movie he wants to make. I really dug the storage setting; seriously, I’ve been in one and they are pretty damn creepy. Add to that a couple of make-up effects that actually work and a few stalk and slash sequences that are better than most of the big-budget Scream
rip-offs that this celebrates, and you’ll have yourself a good time.
The cast is adequate, aside from a few good performances from Samuel Klein
as the “is he or isn’t he the killer” outsider Collin. I also enjoyed Julia Pickens
as Collin’s cousin Lucy. I actually cared about these guys… well, as much as I could for this kind of flick. I also appreciated Erik Soulliard
as the token stoner dude. He made me laugh a couple of times but gets wasted too early, if you know what I mean. Most of the other actors are fine but the killer gets a bit silly in killer mode and I didn’t find that scary. I kept wishing somebody would just kick their ass. And I also found the male characters to be kind of a-holes… come on, if you know there is a killer running around, don’t let your girlfriend go into a dark bathroom alone just because it’s “private time”. Aside from that, the script stays pretty true to form for this kind of flick, meaning that it is filled with lame dialogue (luckily, the self-referential talk is minimal), and many of these “kids” making utterly dumb moves. But the flick is so true to form that I was entertained and would recommend it to low-budget slasher fiends. But I still don’t get hiring mid to late twenty-something actors to get on a yellow school bus for class. At least they could have made it college age, I would have bought it more.
This is a fun tribute to those late night slasher movies that we all love. The acting is adequate and the direction is pretty good so you may not mind the dumb characters and the horror movie clichés that this follows. And there are a couple of surprises that work which I won't give away here, but sadly, I figured out the identity of the killer a little too easily. Yet after taking my turn, I had a blast. If you are in the mood for a little old-school dead teenager movie with a couple of cool gore shots and a very creepy setting, this game is worth playing.