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tarring: Asa Butterfield, Iola Evans, Eddie Marsan, Robert Englund, Kate Fleetwood, Ryan Gage, Angela Griffin, Joe Bolland
OUR RATING: ★★½
Netflix horror thriller film directed by Toby Meakins. Choose or Die (2022) follows two friends Kayla and Isaac (Iola Evans and Asa Butterfield), who after rebooting a mysterious 1980s survival horror game in pursuit of an unclaimed $125,000 prize, unleash a hidden curse that tears reality apart, forcing them to make terrifying decisions and face deadly consequences as they step into a surreal world of next-level terror.
Our Favorite Quote:'Sometimes, a curse can be a gift.' - Beck (Choose or Die) Click To Tweet
Gabe: [referring to Hal] He’s too busy living in the ’80s. He’s playing with his toys. His weird, creepy s**t.
Isaac: How’s that job hunt going?
Kayla: I’m on twenty-seven “f*** yous” and counting, so.
Isaac: That’s why you don’t drop out. You got to go back and graduate.
Isaac: Well, hey, look, once my game’s picked up, you can come program for me, full-time.
Kayla: At the House of Isaac?
Isaac: The House of Isaac?
Isaac: That’s actually pretty good.
Kayla: [referring to the game] What’s this?
Isaac: I don’t know? Looks like a bootleg.
Kayla: With a hundred twenty-five grand prize?
Isaac: Curser. That’s actually quite a good name. Not as good as Ghoster, but…
Kayla: Think the prize is still good?
Isaac: I don’t know. I mean, there are a ton of unclaimed prizes from retro games. Couple of months ago, I read about this guy. He was the first person in thirty-four years to complete Thou Art Dead. He found a treasure chest in a dungeon with a bank account number.
Robert Englund: [after Kayla rings the game’s number] Greetings, this is Robert Englund, horror royalty and Hollywood nightmare. Or should that be the other way around? If you’re listening to this, then you’re either a loser who isn’t paying Mommy and Daddy’s phone bill, or you have survived Curser. So, congratulations. You are worthy. Enter your four digit prize code after the tone. And remember, reality is cursed. Spend that money wisely, kiddos.
Isaac: Robert Englund?
Kayla: Who the f*** is that?
Isaac: Oh, come on.
Kayla: [referring to the game] Could be easy money.
Isaac: Yeah. Yeah. Wait, no. Technically, that is mine.
Kayla: You know Wilkies on 37th?
Isaac: Yes, I do.
Kayla: Meet me there tonight at 1:30?
Isaac: It’s a date.
Kayla: It’s a deal.
Kayla: Ever wonder why they have us doing this s**t?
Carmella: Because they think it’s all we’re good for.
Kayla: I mean, this place is f***ing empty. They got us cleaning the floors night after night.
Carmella: Oh, yeah. I’ve given it a lot of thought over the past few months. Pushed it around in my mind, you know? Really considered it. Last week, I finally settled on what you might call a firm conclusion. Long as they keep paying me, I don’t give a f***.
Kayla: [as she’s playing the game in the diner] Hey, how did you do that?
Grace: Do what?
Kayla: To my screen. The words came up right when you said them.
Grace: I think that maybe we both need some sleep.
Ricky: You have to choose, Kayla. Choose or die.
[after which Grace, the waitress, eats some broken glass, completing level 1]
Isaac: I don’t see how a video game can kill someone. I mean Pac-Man doesn’t go around eating people.
Kayla: So what? I know what I saw.
Isaac: Yeah. No, I know. And she sounds crazy.
Kayla: She’s not f***ing crazy. She was fine. Everything was fine, then the game took control.
Isaac: Is that what you told the cops?
Kayla: It’s what I’m telling you. You don’t believe me?
Isaac: Kayla. Hey, I want to believe you.
Kayla: Just tell me where it came from.
Isaac: I don’t know. I have no way of knowing. It’s house clearance. It’s just in a lot…
Kayla: What f***ing use are you?
Isaac: Wait. Let me do some research. I’ll get to the bottom of this.
Kayla: Yeah, you do that. You’re so f***ing smart.
Computer Narrator: Choose or die.
Thea: I don’t want to die. Kayla, I love you, and I am so sorry.
Kayla: Go to the window.
Thea: I can’t do it, Kayla!
Kayla: You have to!
Computer Narrator: Choose or die.
Computer Narrator: [as Kayla completes level 2 of the game] A worthy player. Same time again tomorrow for more terror.
Lance: What are you worth? Ten dollars? Fifteen for the hour?
Kayla: You take one more step, you’ll find out what I’m worth.
Kayla: You have to believe me.
Isaac: I believe you. Come inside.
Kayla: This is some f***ed up s**t, Isaac. You got to be sure before you get involved.
Isaac: I’m sure.
Isaac: I am going to reinvent the whole idea. So in my game, if you want to cheat, it’s going to cost you. Like it’s going to hurt.
'Remember, reality is the curse.' (Choose or Die) Click To Tweet
Isaac: Those designs you saw? Those are just sketches by the way. They don’t mean anything.
Kayla: I like that you made me look like a superhero.
Isaac: Well, got to make sure you use your powers wisely.
Isaac: This is our song.
Kayla: We don’t have a song.
Isaac: What do you mean? We listened to this like four times.
Kayla: That doesn’t make it our song.
Isaac: God, do you like anything about me?
Isaac: [to Kayla] “Level 3. You are with a loyal squire.” A squire? Have you been talking to this thing?
Isaac: It’s almost putting the words on the screen before I say them.
Isaac: “Help? No help?”
Kayla: Isaac, be careful. It’s going to try hurting you.
Isaac: My help?
Kayla: Isaac, we shouldn’t play. This was a bad idea.
Isaac: Choose or die? We got to choose, Kayla.
Kayla: No! We shouldn’t. No, stop. Stop!
Isaac: [as blue and red door appear in his room] That is some f***ed up s**t. I mean, how is that even possible?
Kayla: Blue or red?
Isaac: Never pick red. Trust me.
Ricky: [from behind the blue door] Die.
Isaac: What the f***? Well, red’s not so bad.
Isaac: [as they go behind the red door] What the f*** is this place?
Kayla: It’s where my brother drowned.
Ricky: I want to go swimming.
Isaac: No. Kayla. Kayla, remember. Remember, it’s not real. It knows you! Don’t let it play you!
Isaac: [after they’ve completed level] That wasn’t your brother back there, you know that.
Kayla: That’s why I chose you.
Kayla: [referring to how Ricky drowned] And this thing, it knew that. It made me do it with my own hands. It wanted to make me suffer.
Isaac: Someday you got to forgive yourself.