If you’ve ever sat down for a round of Monopoly and wished that it had more blood, bullets and broken bones, Game Night could be the film you’ve been waiting for. Released on 2nd March, this hotly anticipated ‘mystery-thriller-comedy’ takes the best bits from the comedy tradition...
The film opens with three couples meeting up for their dullsville weekly board game tournament. But it soon morphs into something darker, deadlier and funnier, as the group’s ringleader suggests a murder-mystery party and reality goes flying out of the window...
Here we explore four films that share similar strands of cinematic DNA. If you liked them, you’ll love Game Night!
The amoral tradition
This jet-black workplace comedy found Jason Bateman and co’s disgruntled employees plotting murder most foul – and had the planet snickering in guilty recognition.
For Game Night, it’s reassuring to find Bateman in the lead role as Max: a hapless everyman whose highlights include being shot in the hand, swallowing a squeaky toy and attempting to scrub blood off a once-pristine Scottish Terrier.
Plus, with Bosses directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein back behind the camera, you can expect sardonic one-liners, a dubious moral compass and a ton of toe-curling scenes to watch through your fingers.
The crazy plot tradition
The genius of Todd Phillips’ planet-straddling comedy franchise 'The Hangover' was the non-linear plot, which challenged both characters and audience to piece together the backstory from the tigers and missing teeth.
Written by Mark Perez, Game Night doesn’t give you the plot on a plate either, throwing out endless twists, leading you up blind alleys and releasing a shoal of red herrings, as the characters compete to find the victim and win the mysterious ‘grand prize’.
Every member of your mates group will have their own theory...
The funny-gore tradition
Christian Slater was at his manic best in this infamous bachelor party bloodbath, which somehow managed to be sick, sadistic and undeniably funny, all at the same time.
Game Night walks that same tightrope between 'horror' and hilarity, and ensures you’ll run the gamut of facial expressions. Between brutal beatings, blood-spattered victims and hoodlums being shredded by aeroplane propellers – offset by the sense that none of this is actually real – you won’t be sure whether to snigger or wince..!
The unreal tradition
If you remember 'Tropic Thunder' (2008), you'll also remember Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey jr. being so commited to their roles that they didn't distinguish what was real and what was fiction - with some truly hilarious outcomes...
From the moment that Max’s shady brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) announces that “you’re not gonna know what’s real and what’s fake”, Game Night has the same sense of itchy paranoia mixed with funny twists.
As thugs break in to beat and abduct Brooks, the group remains chillaxed, kicking back with the cheese and dips. But by the time Max is having bullets dug out by his wife Annie (Rachel McAdams), they might be wishing they’d stuck with Pass The Pigs.