Game (2012) – By Kirsten Walsh

"HUNTING SEASON IS NOW OPEN". Three deadly pursuers. One terrified woman… but the game is about to change.

A horror short film from Nova Scotia, Canada, “GAME” is a vision and throwback to when horror films had moments of sheer terror, yet other moments of sheer humor. Set around the forests of Canada, the tension kicks off the moment the film starts, as we follow the victim as she runs for her life, bound and shackled. Told through mostly handheld moments, the dizzying journey through the trees leads her to the waterfront, where her three assailants gather to settle in on their prey. That’s when things get rambunctious, to say the least.

Coming in at under eight minutes, this film doesn’t give the viewer a chance to lose interest. With very little dialogue (I think there’s four lines- total), this film is all about the visuals, which pay off. Gory, fast paced, and a bit rough around the edges, this film is hilarious, and everything about horror that horror fans love. The assailants look like they walked off of the set for “The Hills Have Eyes” as a slightly mutated group of hillbillies with various weapons. The filmmakers played an excellent hand only showing segments of the assailants at the beginning- one spitting here, one twisting his hat. They chose not to reveal too much, and made some excellent choices within that. The hand held fast motion is truly a bit nauseating at first, but once the victim gets to the waterfront, the viewer is so wrapped up in the story that they feel like they are there. The makeup effects are a bit confusing, its hard to tell if it is CGI or actual practical effects, but the moments fly by, and the question becomes not relevant. The ending of the film is a tongue-in-cheek to not only the actors, but also the audience, as the credits roll with no clear end in sight. But with that, the filmmakers leave the audience wanting more, which is never a bad thing.

It is no wonder that this film has won several awards on the film festival circuit, including “Outstanding Special FX Makeup”, “Best Horror Short”, and “Best Actress” among others. This film is the perfect example of a horror film taking a tired genre and twisting it on its head, or twisting it off, the right way.