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The Murder Game (2006)

 |  Horror  |  3 May 2006 (USA)
4.2
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 247 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 7 critic

A group of teenagers invent a game in which one of them is secretly chosen to be a "killer," while the others remain innocent victims. Armed with prop weapons, the "killer" must eliminate ... See full summary »

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A group of teenagers invent a game in which one of them is secretly chosen to be a "killer," while the others remain innocent victims. Armed with prop weapons, the "killer" must eliminate the other players before being found out. To enhance their experience, the teens sneak into a large self-storage warehouse during its closed, late-night hours to hold their game. At first, it's better than ever. But, things take a horrific turn as one by one, the players begin dying...for real. Written by Anonymous

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Nothing groundbreaking, but OK for what it is.
21 October 2008 | by (FrightMeter.Com) – See all my reviews

I have a thing for contemporary slasher films that have an 80's type feel to them. Films like "Sleepaway Camp," "The Slumber Party Massacre," "The Mutilator," "My Bloody Valentine," and even the original "Friday the 13th" rarely get made anymore, so it is always a pleasant surprise when I run across a recent film that has that is unforgiving in the fact that it is a 100% pure slasher film and doesn't try to be anything different. "The Murder Game" is one of those films. It reminds me of the more recent DTV film "Death Clique" and the 80's "Hide and Go Shriek." Unfortunately, something was lacking that doesn't make it as an effective of a film as those two.

The film centers on a group of friends who invent a "murder game," which is similar to hide and seek. One of them is elected to be the killer based on drawing a specific card. The others have no idea who the killer is and the group splits up and the elected killer "kills" anyone he finds. Whoever can figure out who the killer is first win. Their parents don't approve of the game (I can't imagine why) and forbid the group to play it. Being teenagers, they find a way around this by deciding to sneak into a large storage warehouse one night and play. Unfortunately, they are not alone, as a mysterious killer almost immediately begins disposing of them in some pretty bloody ways.

The Good: As I mentioned, this film does not apologize for being a slasher film, and a pretty brutal one at that. The action comes fast; they are very few "drawn out" scenes. The setting is very claustrophobic and provides a nice, creepy atmosphere. Think about it...a storage warehouse is a perfect location for a slasher film. Once the warehouse goes dark, I really liked that there was a red hue to the film...it really provided a nice, unsettling touch. The murders are actually pretty graphic. We get axings, throat-slittings, decapitations, and brutal stabbings. Overall, the tone if this film is very effective and I hate to keep mentioning it, but fans of the 80's slashers should be somewhat pleased. Also, the killer's identity is a surprise and I didn't have it figured out. I wouldn't call it a "twist," but when it is revealed who the killer is, you should be somewhat surprised.

The Bad: The dialogue is terrible. There are some extremely cringe-worthy things uttered by these teen characters, including a reference to "Abbott and Costello" that I found baffling. Do many teenagers even know who Abbott and Costello are? There are too many attempts to throw in some "light humor" but it falls flat because (1)it's terribly written (2) the actors who say it are terrible in their delivery and (3)no sane person would utter these things when they think their friends are being slaughtered. The acting is also very uneven, and I am not sure it is because the actors knew the lines they were saying were horrid or because they are truly bad actors. I tend to think it is a little bit of both. Not to mention that none of the characters are particularly likable or fleshed out, so it's not a big deal when the start being picked off. There are also some pretty bad clichés, such as the red-herring outsider and the ending, which again, has been done before many times and was somewhat unrealistic here.

Overall, not as good as some are saying on here, but certainly not as bad as other are saying. I say this film is pretty average, but does have some positive things going for it. You could do a lot worse (trust me....I watched two other DTV horror films the same night I watched this one and this was BY FAR the best one).

My Grade: C


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