The OctoGames (2022): A Thrilling Dive into Deadly Games and Social Media Mayhem

Movie Bunker Score:
3/5

The OctoGames

Release: 2022-10-07Genre: ThrillerDuration: 88 minsBudget: $ 0
Overview

8 contestants compete in 8 deadly, classic children's games. They seek fame beyond their wildest dreams, competing for the chance to take over the YouTube channel of the famous yet elusive masked YouTuber known only as "JaxPro".

The OctoGames

Release: 2022-10-07Genre: ThrillerDuration: 88 minsBudget: $ 0
Overview

8 contestants compete in 8 deadly, classic children's games. They seek fame beyond their wildest dreams, competing for the chance to take over the YouTube channel of the famous yet elusive masked YouTuber known only as "JaxPro".

Renowned YouTuber JaxPro, played by Brad Belemjian (known for Death Ranch and Curse of the Nun), takes center stage in The OctoGames, a gripping contest featuring eight games – a nod to octopuses and their eight arms. Despite any similarities to The Squid Games, JaxPro insists it’s not a cash grab. With his retirement from social media looming, the grand prize includes all his channels, sponsorships, and a massive following of one hundred and fifteen million.

The rules seem simple at first: an elimination round of Simon Says, followed by eight finalists competing in various children’s games until only one emerges victorious. However, the shocking twist comes when the costumed mascot ruthlessly beats the first eliminated contestant to death with a sledgehammer – a detail JaxPro conveniently left out.

Director Aaron Mirtes, known for Painted in Blood and The Alpha Test, claims The OctoGames went from script to finished film in just three and a half months. While the quick turnaround may raise eyebrows, Mirtes, a prolific filmmaker, manages to deliver an engaging experience. The script borrows elements from The Squid Games, Saw, and Funhouse, creating a mix of internet voyeurism, fatal games, influencer culture, group politics, and greed.

The characters, though familiar archetypes, add depth to the narrative. From the obnoxious Squish to the wealthy entrepreneur Walter, the conniving Ruth, and the presumptive final girl Carrie, each participant brings their own flair to the deadly competition.

Despite the low budget, Mirtes maximizes the film’s potential, opting for challenges that can be effectively shot without relying on bad CGI. The prospect of lethal hopscotch or musical chairs adds a twisted appeal, while an inflatable obstacle course provides a low-end “Wipeout” charm.

Behind-the-scenes drama involving JaxPro and his girlfriend Luna, along with shady dealings among the guards, inject additional intrigue into The OctoGames. By scattering the games throughout the film, Mirtes ensures that dialogue-heavy scenes don’t overstay their welcome before the next killing spree unfolds.

However, the film’s low budget becomes apparent in its restrained gore effects. Deaths are depicted with a simplicity that might disappoint fans expecting the visceral thrills of its inspirations. While this doesn’t detract significantly from the overall experience, a more detailed portrayal of at least one early death could have heightened the sense of danger.

In essence, The OctoGames stands as an enjoyable B movie that embraces its identity. It never claims to be more than it is, successfully delivering an hour and a half of fast-paced, enjoyable entertainment. In a cinematic landscape cluttered with lackluster offerings, The OctoGames manages to captivate and entertain.

For those interested, The OctoGames is available on Digital and VOD platforms courtesy of High Octane Pictures. Additional information can be found on their Facebook page. If this doesn’t quite match your taste, FilmTagger can assist in finding the perfect cinematic fit for you.

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