Horrortoberfest ’21 Day 7 – Game Over (2019)

I literally picked this movie over one of the other ones I had on my perspective lists to watch because it was an hour shorter and I wasn’t sure I had the energy for 2 and half hours of movie. Much to my surprise, this ended up being not just one of the better Indian horror films that I had watched but actually one of the better ones that I’d seen come out recently. That said, Content Warning: this movie has depictions of suicide, self harm, and rape. It is definitely not going to be one for everybody.

The main character of the film is Swapna, a video game programmer with PTSD that lives with Kalamma, a woman that has some sort of relationship to Swapna that is never specified. Maid? Friend? Relative? No idea. Swapna has a deep fear of the dark and it is especially bad now that it is almost the New Year as she was bound and raped in a dark room on New Years Eve one year ago. When a masked killer decides to make her the next victim in their killing spree; Swapna learns to fight back and has a little supernatural help to give her the boost she needs.

Much like the other movies that I’ve covered this week, Game Over doesn’t have the same pace and flow that you might find in a standard American horror film. However, this time, I think that it actually ends up working for the film instead of making it feel disjointed or like it’s dragging. We have a sequence at the beginning setting up the killer and their methods but then we spend a long time with Swapna. We learn about her trauma, we see the fear and embarrassment she endures, and we see her ultimately attempt to take her life when it becomes too much for her to handle. Without spending as much time on her and really feeling what she’s going through, I don’t think the last act of the film would work nearly as well.

The message of the film of not giving up and continuing to fight even when things seem hopeless feels less patronizing than it might have. Since we see Swapna actually attempt suicide, it feels like the film acknowledges that simple platitudes are often not enough to help those that have been traumatized. It also shows a great female friendship with Kalamma and how we often need to rely on others. I can’t say too much more about some of the other things I enjoyed as I really don’t want to spoil anything since this is for sure one that I think deserves watching if you can handle the subject matter.

This is the kind of emotional thriller that grabs your attention and the supernatural elements blend in with the much more grounded story in a way that doesn’t feel weird or forced. It has such a unique blend of elements and styles that, for me at least, work very well together.

Score: 5 out of 5

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