A woman finds herself part of a deadly game in this Canadian action thriller.
Ray is a real estate developer who is planning to build housing in a rural area up north with the support of the town’s mayor. However, things don’t go as planned and at first Ray feels a bit down. To get away from the stress, he decides to go on a vacation and brings his mistress Brooke with him. As they towards their destination, they find themselves stopped by a sheriff, Gary, who is joined by two friends, TJ and Rick. The trio kidnaps Ray and Brooke and take them to a remote island miles from town.
After a discussion, Ray and Brooke soon learn they are about to be hunted down by the trio. TJ was raised in the sport of human hunting, so he is thriving on it more than Rick and Gary. When Ray and Brooke become hunted, they rely on their instincts to try to survive. However, when Ray is killed by the trio, this leads Brooke to try to get help but when it comes to no avail, she must do whatever it takes to survive and get off the island before she becomes the next victim.
The female revenge film continues to strive and this film does take a few different routes when it comes to our protagonist. Director Neil Mackay and co-write Sean McAulay take the humans hunting humans for sport that defined The Most Dangerous Game and thankfully, it doesn’t go the route of I Spit on Your Grave, where the victim would be raped and attacked. In this case, Brooke is forced to dance with one of goons before she and her married boyfriend Ray are forced into the hunt.
Marlene Malcolm is excellent in the role of Brooke, our would be female protagonist who at least you kind of don’t want anything good to happen to her because she is a mistress. That usually seems to be a type of character who in a female of this caliber would be more of a traitor of sorts. We never really know why she is having an affair with Ray, played by Omar Tucci, but it seems perhaps there’s trouble in Ray’s marriage which may have led to him to Brooke, but we never get the full story. Regardless, she plays a woman who is not a damsel in distress but one who realizes she must use some sort of untapped instinct to survive the hunt and exact revenge for Ray.
The trio of redneck villains are pretty stereotypical. However, we do get our opening scene involving the backstory of leader of the pack TJ, played in the present by Terry McDonald. While Greg Johnston’s Officer Gary seems to be more of an authoritative figure, it’s TJ who is actually the one pulling the strings while Rick Amsbury’s eponymous character seems to be there just to round out the trio as he never really makes an impact.
If there is one major flaw in the film, it’s more of a technical error. The dialogue is barely heard unless you turn your volume up, but then when the sound effects come, they are blasted to a Spinal Tap “eleven”, in which you will have to turn it down. There is no balance between the sound and that could really pose a problem unless you can somehow access subtitles when seeing the film.
Death Game is not a bad female survival film as it takes away some tropes of the genre and tames them down. However, the imbalance of the sound may be a hindrance.
WFG RATING: B-
Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Rapid City Entertainment production. Director: Neil Mackay. Producers: Neil Mackay and Frank Ieraci. Writers: Neil Mackay and Sean McAulay. Cinematography: Renato Villas. Editing: Neil Mackay.
Cast: Marlene Malcolm, Omar Tucci, Terry McDonald, Greg Johnston, Rick Amsbury, Michael Coughlan.