All Fun and Games Review

All Fun and Games
All Fun and Games
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When creating a movie, make sure that it is full of fun and games. Directors ​​Eren Celeboglu and Ari Costa didn’t take this step when they converted outdoor games into deadly horror stories about hide-and-seek or flashlight tag. Celeboglu, Costa, and co-writer J.J. Braider take an interesting concept on paper and undercook it like a chef who bakes pizza in a cold stove. I’ll probably stand for shorter the running time the better for me; however All Fun and Games barely gets started before “game over” rolls across the screen.

The bloodshed takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, which has always been infamous for evil spirits. The possessed- by the victims chosen by cursed bone-carved knife engraved with “I Will Play, I Won’t Quit” – then force others to engage themselves in sadistic versions of playground games from the years predating Fortnite or Neopets era. What should have been a simple night of babysitting becomes a battle against an angry spirit from their dark past whom we get to know too well as if characters were asking to be possessed in a kiddie horror film.

My greatest irritation is with how much little these three main games have been exploited: hangman, hide-and-seek, flashlight tag. In All Fun And Games this means that despite being able to stretch their creative minds inside-out withing the boundaries of the genre’s conventionality, directors decide simply dryly tell audience how exactly each one of them relates to killing someone else. Hide-and-seek is just another slasher movie villain stalking slowly after its innocent victims while hangman appears an inconsequential game that goes only two letters deep into one round.

Only flashlight tag is reimagined here as something truly terrorizing where participants are marked by light but even that gets wasted with poor digital fire effects showing those touched by tagged-in blazes. Celeboglu and Costa overdo the premise on one hand, but also produce the most basic version of it altogether, failing to offer any intrigue that can be paid off with in a very rewarding manner.

The finer points of All Fun And Games are not fleshed out well enough or too poorly constructed. Such factors as why a mother would take away her sitter teenagers’ mobile phones before leaving them for the night make more queries concerning “Why don’t they call for help?” than provide an answer. No one hesitates to read what is written on this bone dagger, nor what might appear strange about the sweating possessed child’s body. The story is thin and rushed, like characters don’t know where they are going but are headed there anyway. While horror movies may use familiar tropes as catalysts for these occurrences, when people caught in such chaos do not ask questions or raise their levels of scrutiny to the right levels it feels cheap and artificial.

Let’s again analyze the fear factor under the word “cheap.” All Fun and Games features murders that take place off camera, and jump scares that do not think very much about their formula. The backstory of the bonestabber relates to old-timey Salem and one in a series of Salem’s countless other wrongs which summon ghost children with bleeding wounds who continuously jump at the camera. Celeboglu and Costa fall short on building suspense up to a frightful climax; rather they reduce horror movies to quick shots of cameras that thrust us into face-to-face situation with a mask-wearing woman or walking corpse without any warning. All Fun and Games never had the phrase “speed kills” because it is often in too much hurry to allow themes, thrills or chills make an impact.

The young cast cannot be blamed for any of this. As Natalie Dyer does quite well as both the love-stricken girl friend and her anxious elder sister. Benjamin Evan Ainsworth suffices as his family’s possible undoing, but I am glad that possession performance tasks move elsewhere after some time (his portrayal wavers). There are traces of Asa Butterfield as an unattractive loner, but he is overpowered by a bellowing voice change that detracts more than improves from howling demonic vessel he becomes still sneering in malicious manner . The setting can strike the right tone when playing off someone slinging a noose over backyard tree branch with a smirk; there are just no deeper wells for characters to tap once this moment is gone before we had time to digest what went down during those harrowing moments of watching human beings play live hangman.


All Fun and Games is an appetizer pretending to be an entrée. The deteriorated historical reputation of Salem has stopped being creepy since storytelling appears stuck on fast-forward mode. There is nothing outstanding about these games themselves ​​which Eren Celeboglu and Ari Costa reframe within horror genre conventions or any excitement that can be derived from their murderous acts. All Fun and Games doesn’t seem to trust that its concept could hold our attention for even 90 minutes, which shows through in consistently inconsequentially shallow yet breakneck advancement. Maybe, with more insidious ingenuity during playtime, that might be forgiven; but as it is, there’s precious little fun in Celeboglu and Costa’s games.

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