I want to play a game…Whilst most of us while away the hours enjoying the latest and greatest video game experiences in more recent times there has been a resurgence in the enjoyment of more classic board and parlour-based games. They certainly give you an opportunity to be more social and to get together with friends or family for a purpose without simply playing faceless virtual entities online. Of course these traditional games have spilled over into the realm of horror on occasion and here are just a few notable entries.
WOULD YOU RATHER, 2012
This classic party game has been entertaining friends and families for years and because of the tricky choices you are faced with it seemed like the perfect fodder for a horror twist. In the game itself you are given two options that you must pick from but are either equally as good or as bad as each other making it a much tougher choice. So in 2012 this fun dilemma-based game was turned into a feature with actress Brittany Snow’s character joining a special dinner party hosted by an unhinged philanthropist in an attempt to help pay for her dying brother’s leukaemia treatment. But little did she know she would be entering a deadly and twisted game in order to make her money.
It’s another suitably twisted entry in the back catalogue of J-horror and this effort from ‘Grotesque’s Yohei Fukuda manages to shoehorn in the classic game of bingo to its horrific offerings. Bingo has had a fresh lease of life recently with land-based bingo halls and online games like Mad About Bingo becoming all the rage it’s an impossible trend to ignore. And Fukudu has taken it and given it a more unsavoury twist. In a futuristic Japan the death penalty has had a makeover which involves the death sentence itself being decided by a game of bingo that’s played by the family of the victim.
This instantly recognisable board game is well over 100 years old and its origins certainly have very little to do with the occult and the communication with spirits. This “talking” board was little more than a parlour game but has since become synonymous with scary tales and has become a useful tool for spiritualists. In the 2014 release ‘Ouija’ we see just how scary and dangerous such supernatural efforts can be when a group of friends decide to investigate after one of their friends is killed after she uses the iconic board.
Not strictly horror but it’s still a great murder mystery which has the added bonus of numerous possible endings to enjoy. With an excellent cast featuring ‘It’ star Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Eileen Brennan and Martin Mull a group of so-called strangers are invited to a secluded mansion under mysterious circumstances. The movie, of course, is based on the classic mystery board game of the same name (also known as Cluedo in the UK) and features all the iconic characters, rooms and murder weapons.