Chill: The Killing Games is an indie-horror that, despite being made only a couple years ago, reminded me of the fun slashers of the 80s and 90s. The plot involves some college students intent on playing a made-up game of sorts (kind of like a live-action board game) and streaming it to a live audience. But the last time this game was played, in the totally awesome 80s, the bunch of kids playing it ended up dead.
As you can surmise from the bit of plot above, the story is horror baseline. A bloody history, a new set of kids, unheeded warnings, and the return of a slasher. It’s been done before, but that doesn’t really matter because we horror fans (despite our complaining to the contrary) love our simple storylines, especially when it comes to slashers. However, I’ll give the story extra credit for setting up a nice mythology. I loved watching the 80’s prologue and then the modern townsfolk who lived through that tragedy discussing the game’s revival.
The characters includes some very cliché tropes, as well as some refreshing ones. So while you do have to put up with the weird goth girl, obvious red herrings, and the token stoner we’ve all seen before, we were at least also given a likeable assistant and rare final boy to root for.
These weren’t the only characters though… we also had a burlesque dancer, a former child star, a journalist, a make-up artist, a fake psychic, and various others. Personally, I felt like half the amount of people could have been used and would’ve made the film smoother and less confusing for when you’re trying to remember “who’s that?” or “where’d that body come from?”
My second, but only other issue came from having to suspend so much belief when it came to the second half. Despite the fact that there were dead bodies piling up and a killer among them, the group still managed to find time for petty social bickering. Also, as the building was apparently part of a college, I didn’t buy the “no way out, locked-in” scenario. They have fire codes about that thing…
For an indie effort, the camerawork/lighting/sets/special effects were all well done. Even the sound, which Roger Conners (a scream king you should know about if you are a gay horror fan!) mentioned may have been screwy, seemed fine to me. And aside from the questionable dialogue/character choices I mentioned above, the acting and delivery from the cast was also better than what most indie efforts normally offer us.
Overall, I enjoyed this low-budget slasher, and with news of a sequel set to start rolling later this year, I’m excited to see where the story and mythology of Chill goes next. Hopefully somewhere bloody!