Iola Evans stars opposite Asa Butterfield in new Netflix horror, Choose or Die / Picture Credit: CURSR FILMS LIMITED 2022
Iola Evans stars opposite Asa Butterfield in new Netflix horror, Choose or Die / Picture Credit: CURSR FILMS LIMITED 2022

Directed by Toby Meakins, with an incredible cast made up of Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Angela Griffin and even the iconic horror legend, Robert Englund himself (A Nightmare on Elm Street), new scary Netflix movie Choose or Die seemingly had all of the right ingredients, including an impressive and unique narrative (rare in horror these days), to become a success.

Kayla (Evans) is a young coder who works part-time as a cleaner to make ends meet. Her mother (Griffin) is an addict, whose life has been turned upside down by the local pushy dealer, following a tragedy which saw the untimely death of Kayla’s younger brother. They’re living for sure, but it’s no life.

Spending time with Isaac (Butterfield) is the only reprieve Kayla gets. The two geek out in the best of ways, enamoured by technology and everything that comes with it. So, when they come across an old survival horror game from the 80s, they can’t help but dig further into its roots. The promise of a $125,000 prize for anybody who can reach the game’s conclusion doesn’t hurt, either.

Kayla becomes the game’s protagonist and, upon engaging with the first level of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ title, quickly realises that it can have an incomparable and irreversible impact on her real life. With Isaac’s help, the two try and unlock the secrets behind the deadly virtual reality, and there’s a heartbreaking choice that must be made when ‘cheat mode’ is enabled…

There are a couple of scenes that will undoubtedly stick with you and, in particular, one that punches you and the characters right in the gut due to its raw and real emotional impact. Combining this with the electric chemistry Evans and Butterfield share almost makes up for the lack of risks taken throughout the film.

Unfortunately, whilst there are also moments that will have you jumping out of your seat, they’re fleeting and actually do little to elevate the overall experience. A worthwhile watch if you’re a true horror junkie, but casuals should probably steer clear if they’re already not too fond of the genre.

Hopefully, a sequel will be given the green light so that the team working behind-the-scenes feel they can be a little more daring. There’s certainly a space for this franchise in the horror space; it just needs to earn its spot.

Choose or Die is available to stream now, exclusively on Netflix.

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