Strange Games (2016) – By Misty Layne


There’s not many games played in STRANGE GAMES nor is it particularly strange , which was disappointing because I was really excited for some wacky shenanigans. Instead we get a documentary crew going around interviewing people about a pair of filmmakers who mysteriously went missing. At first I thought, “Ooohhh, horror movie!”. No. Not in the least (unless you count the horror of having to hear the character of “Sybil” scream repeatedly. *shudders*). Unfortunately, there ended up not being much to STRANGE GAMES at all.

I wish I could tell you what the point of STRANGE GAMES was. Maybe it’s just that psycho be-yotch Sybil is psycho, because that was the only thing I got from this film. Approximately 76 minutes of a character shrieking and screaming at people about how awesome she was, and how everyone wanted to sue her, and how she was the greatest, and knew everything (so essentially Donald Trump in the form of an 18 year old girl). My head was killing me by the end of this film. Oy. And she’s the character that goes missing, fyi. (Well, one of them. Her director [I think – there was a lot of argument over who was doing what when…] was the other). I don’t mind documentary style films, but the interview/flashbacks just got really old, really fast. Everyone told the same story about Sybil, over and over again, ad nauseum. “Ah, yes. She yelled at me, then said I was going to sue her, then said she was suing me, and said she owned a modeling agency.” There also didn’t seem to be a point to the documentary being made. One guy actually asked about that, why they were making it, and they said “closure”, but I’m not sure how collecting similar “war stories” from people of their time with Sybil is closure?

I also am unsure as to why there where subtitles when it was in English? There were definitely some sound issues (I thought I heard a baby at one point and a cat meowing at another), but nothing so drastic as to require subtitles. If it was an artistic choice, it was one I didn’t like as it was distracting. Also the beginning of the film that makes it look like STRANGE GAMES will be a horror movie (“they disappeared and all their film was gone! then a documentary crew did this! here is that film..”), could be reworked because again, NOT horror. Actually not even sure where I’d classify this – it wasn’t a comedy, it wasn’t a drama, it wasn’t a thriller…no idea. But everyone in the film did a good job (and seriously, the actress for Sybil was great because I hated her with a fiery passion); no issues there. Overall though, STRANGE GAMES just didn’t do it for me.

I think STRANGE GAMES would have worked MUCH better in a short film format and could’ve used some focus. It also could’ve definitely done without those subtitles. Not my top pick but for a lo-budget indie, the film looks pretty good and the actors were good, so kudos there.

Check out STRANGE GAMES yourself on IMDB and Facebook!