When it comes to ‘high stakes’ in horror the mind instantly goes to Saw. It’s the perfect example of a film exploiting all the tension and fear surrounding the threat of death, and gamifying it to make it more palatable.
It can be easy to forget, however, that there’s plenty of other films out there which take a stab at the whole ‘death games’ schtick. Some of them even do it very well!
Whether what is at stake is your own life, someone else’s or maybe even a large amount of money and status, putting unsuspecting victims into some sort of sick game has proven a very effective horror formula.
With a few gentle nudges toward compliance, it’s amazing what people will do to stay alive, and in a way these films highlight the very best and worst of humanity. They all force you to ask yourself, ‘what would I do?’ And frankly the answer is probably ‘die.’
From traps and contraptions to mind-games and murderous strangers, these high-stakes films have it all - with the added bonus that you’ve probably never seen them before! Let’s take a look at some of the worst games, traps and ultimatums that horror has to offer.
10. The Belko Experiment
Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking, but when new Belko Industries employee Dany turns up for her first day and is told she has to have a tracker put in her neck, she probably should’ve taken that as a cue to run far, far away.
As everyone arrives for another boring day of work, they get an injection of action that they definitely could’ve done without: they’re told that if they don’t kill a certain amount of fellow employees within the set time limit, double that amount will die regardless.
Split into two factions, one planning on carrying out the murders and the others conscientiously objecting, the employees find themselves in an impossible situation that puts their company loyalty to the ultimate test.
Gradually more people die and the disembodied voice instructs more murders, it’s kill or be killed; but you don’t kill enough people you’ll also die anyway. It really just seems like a lose-lose situation.
With a workplace like that, working from home sure sounds like a great idea.