A family invites a stranger over for dinner and game night, he quickly learns this is a game he has never played before. Directed and produced by Nicholas Ferwerda and written by Jon Kohan, starring: Mark Brombacher, Meredith Heinrich, Jenny Fischer, Brad Linton, and Connor Hume.
If there is one thing as a film loving society that we should have learnt by now, it would be that if in a fictional world, you encounter an especially positive, friendly and almost too hospitable family, you do not stay for dinner, you make for the exit. On the other hand, if characters actually acknowledged the cinematic rules we’ve come to take for granted, where would the fun be in that? So there you are, an over eager family and a homeless man, sat having a pleasant meal and a glass of wine but things are not travelling towards a happy ending, this is not a selfless tale.
The red flags are everywhere, from the very start and although you may have an inkling to how this may end for the homeless gentleman, it’s still plenty entertaining to watch it play out. The over the top nature of the family comes across as your typical sit-com nuclear family but with a hint of the 21st century and a hearty helping of the sinister. Things go from one suspicious moment to another until you learn the name of the game and fully tips the scales in the favour of the menacing.
Family Game Night has great black comedy to offer aided by the utterly creepy smile of Brombacher’s doting dad and the categorically callous Tammy (Heinrich). There are few issues of detail which do hinder the film slightly, there’s a variation in sound quality between characters’ dialogue and a weapon of particular importance could benefit from feeling more threatening but it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film.
The film is well-written, funny and entertaining, it doesn’t linger too long and doesn’t attempt anything too outlandish that would come across as fake or poorly executed.