Suspense, thrills and detectives trying to figure out “who dun it?” compose classic murder mystery films. But what happens when the characters are unaware that the murder mystery is real?
“Game Night,” directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, offers a new perspective on the murder mystery genre by weaving comedy throughout the film. “Game Night” stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, as well as a few other lesser-known stars such as Kyle Chandler and Jesse Plemons, who previously starred in “Friday Night Lights,” Michael C. Hall from the television show “Dexter,” and Lamorne Morris from the series “New Girl.”
“Game Night” follows a group of friends who meet up every week for a game night, but when Max’s (Jason Bateman) hot-shot brother, Brooks, comes to town Brooks decides to take game night to another level. Brooks organizes a murder mystery party, telling the group they won’t know what’s real and what’s not, so when Brooks gets kidnapped they believe it is part of the game. As the night goes on the group begins to realize that this is not a game, Brooks has actually been kidnapped and is in danger. Complete with a creepy neighbor, the rest of the movie unfolds with moments of hilarity, fake blood and shock factors as the game night crew tries to figure out where Brooks is before it’s too late.
This movie’s new perspective on murder mystery provides a fresh outlook on the murder mystery genre. The film leaves the audience feeling duped at times as it takes unexpected twists.
The audience is able to get elements of classic murder mystery films, but with a modern twist. With scenes consisting of humor such as Bateman’s character telling the kidnappers to drive safely as they haul his brother away, “Game Night” illustrates the cross between murder mystery and comedy.
The humor was present in almost every scene without it feeling too idiotic. However, a few scenes felt overdone with the camera lingering in an attempt to make sure the audience knew they were supposed to find the scene funny. The characters were unique and their relationships felt real as they not only navigated through the murder mystery, but also through the ups and downs of their relationships throughout the film.
In an era of remakes and book adaptations, “Game Night” is a fresh new film that is unlike any other.