The Netflix Supernatural Horror Thriller Makes Video Games Into A Nightmare

By Robert Scucci | Published

choose or die

There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to hunker down for a relaxing night of retro gaming, only to find out that the game is going to murder you and everybody you love if you don’t cooperate. If that sounds like a terrifying evening, you’re right to think so. But if you want to see exactly this kind of plot unfold through your television screen rather than be subjected to it by your computer, Choose or Die is the next movie that you should check out on Netflix.

Choose Or Die On Netflix

Choose or Die is one of those movies that wastes no time telling the viewer what’s at stake. We’re quickly introduced to a man named Hal, who collects vintage video games and stumbles across one he’s never heard of before called CURS>R.

Thinking it’s just your run-of-the-mill text-based adventure game, he fires it up, only to find out that the game play has real-life consequences.

Shifting Focus

Once we learn what the game is capable of, Choose or Die shifts its narrative and introduces us to Kayla, a struggling college student who works for a cleaning company to support herself while attending school.

Coming from a dire financial situation, she needs to find a way to support her mother, Thea, who has been forced into prostitution to avoid being evicted by her landlord.

Playing The Game Together

choose or die

Kayla stumbles across the same CURS>R game at her fiend Issac’s place, and inside the packaging there is a note stating that whoever beats the game can call a phone number and cash in on a $125,000 cash prize.

Agreeing to play the game together and split the winnings, Kayla and Issac meet at a cafe, not knowing that CURS>R actually curses its subjects.

The Game Is Simple

choose or die

The gameplay is simple: a text-based prompt gives players two possible courses of action to choose from, each with its own set of fatal consequences.

Once Kayla and Issac become aware of what’s going on, Choose or Die becomes a wild and violent goose chase as they try to find out the origins of the deadly game so they can escape the curse and live to talk about it.

Choose Or Die Critical Reception

choose or die

Upon its straight-to-streaming release on Netflix, Choose or Die did not fare well among critics and horror fans, and earned a 33 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes to drive the point home.

While those who enjoyed the movie remarked on the film’s potential to be franchised out, many felt that the film offered more style than substance in its efforts to become the next long-running horror property rather than being a unique stand-alone film in its own right.

Many reviewers stated that the film’s latter half failed to meet their expectations once the story was established in the first act, leading to a profound feeling of disappointment.

Stream Choose Or Die

choose or die

Ultimately, Choose or Die plays out like a polished B-movie that wanted to be something so much more than it ended up offering. But it’s worth noting that movies that fall within this wheelhouse have a very specific audience that will celebrate it despite its poor critical reception.

Though it may never become the next big horror franchise, there are enough gross-out moments and clever kills within its 84 minutes that will make you want to fire up Netflix and check it out.