Tough decisions can be murder.
Standard serial-killer movies have been an ever-present and often
highly entertaining plot force in recent years. David Fincher provided two of
the finest in 1995’s superb Seven and more recently in his adaptation of
true life killer, Zodiac. Marcus Graves’ Choose opts for the
former with pretty much a copycat storyline but lacking the chemistry or
initiative to keep us truly hooked.
When a crazed killer begins terrorizing the city by making his victims
choose their peril, be it which parent will die or which sense they might
lose, a local student (CSI’s Katheryn Winnick) and her detective father (Kevin
Pollak) must find the tormentor before they become the next target of choice.
Modelling tone and style on such a tried-and-tested template is fine, as
long as you have the cast and script to back it up. However Brandon Camp
and Mike Thompson’s screenplay follows too bog-standard a path, only throwing
up more interesting avenues and twists too late on to effectively make much of
an impact. The killer’s identity, when revealed, makes for what could have
been a more interesting third act if divulged earlier while the ending,
much as in last year’s unrelentingly depressing Collector, offers a bleak
and generally unsatisfactory conclusion.
Proficiently made and well shot however, Choose certainly has effective
moments. From its Scream-like opening minutes through to its grisly
decision-making murders there’s plenty here for fans of Saw to enjoy,
even if the violence is tame by comparison.
However much like the ongoing gruesome franchise, the film loses
something in being too earnest. Whereas Wes Craven and Sam Raimi both
managed to combine guts and giggles in Scream and last year’s scary but
fun Drag Me To Hell, Choose suffers from its reliance on the
serious. What could have been slightly tongue-in-cheek eventually becomes
If you’ve got the time to choose,
one of Fincher’s master classes in tension is a much more entertaining option