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Stupid Games

USA 2024
produced by
Dani Abraham, Nicolas Wendl, Tanner Adams, Joseph T. Kramer, James Cullen Bressack (executive), Mario Niccolò Messina (executive), Valentina Cau (executive) for V Channels Media, Sandaled Kid Productions
directed by Nicolas Wendl, Dani Abraham
starring Saad Rolando, Gage Robinson, Grant Terzakis, Alyssa Tortomasi, Ashwini Ganpule, Cass Huckabay, Larsen Deane, Tanner Adams, Saad Rolando (voice), Dani Abraham
story by Nicolas Wendl, Tanner Adams, Dani Abraham, screenplay by Tanner Adams, music by Darren Wonnacott

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Two weeks ago, Jaxon (Saad Rolando) and Celeste (Alyssa Tortomasi) have had a little fling - but since she has ghosted him, until out of the blue she calls him to invite him to self-made (well, self-ordered) dinner and a board game. Only condition, he's to bring two male friends for her two roommates, Mia (Ashwini Ganpule) and Riley (Cass Huckabay). She's weirdly adamant about this, so Jaxon takes Rex (Gage Robinson), but when his other friend falls through, he just picks up random cable guy Stanley (Grant Terzakis) as a fill-in. Now the dinner part of the evening proves to be a success, especially since Rex and Riley seem to get along mighty fine, and there's even some chemistry between Mia and Stanley. But then the power cuts out, and still the girl insist on playing an obscure boardgame by candlelight, a game that doesn't even make that much sense and borrows from silly games like "fuck-marry-kill" and "two truths and one lie" - and it's a game that seems to be designed to bring its players up against one another. Suffice to say this is bad enough, but eventually things take a supernatural turn, and the guys find out the girls use the game as part of a demonic invocation - but the demonic forces they have summoned soon get out of hand and things get ugly ...

 

Ok, the premise of this film is somewhat stupid (no pun intended) and pretty much reminiscent of B-horrors from the late 1980s and 1990s that the likes of Fred Olen Ray or Full Moon would put out by the dozen - and that's pretty much part of the charm of Stupid Games, it's a throwback to a rather simplistic and in-your-face approach to horror. That's not to say that this movie is just a silly throwaway though, as as stupid as its premise might be, it's very well-structured and well-written, peopled with fleshed out characters and directed with a sure hand for suspense and atmosphere as well as the occasional jump scare. And a relatable cast sure helps bring this to life as well, making is a very enjoyable genre ride.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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