September 2, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Drinking Games'

Drinking Games (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Once in a while a film comes along which I know very little about. So, I do what I usually do, and that’s watch the trailer and read the synopsis, and then, in the case of Drinking Games, I sit down and watch the movie itself. What really surprises me though is the fact that I didn’t know anything about this film, especially as it is a cracking little flick.

Set in a college in the depths of winter, the majority of the students have gone home for the holidays. Those that remain do what any self-respecting students would do; throw a damned party. This party in particular is known as Snowmaggedon and pretty much takes over the dorm building.

Of course, there’s always one that wants to actually do college work during this time, and split up with his girlfriend because college will eventually end. Yeah, he’s a real charmer.

What the film really centers on though is the journey that four friends take during this one night of the party, and the physical and psychological manipulation that ensues. This results in Drinking Games heading into some fairly dark territory.

Based on the off Broadway play, Dorm, from the film’s co-writer and star, Blake Merriman, the film is not your typical college kids in peril thriller. Far from it in fact; it actually has a far more nihilistic approach which reminded me more of films such as Fight Club.

The film takes a slow-burn approach to the events, the whole time ensuring maximum squirming in the seat from the viewer, and is held together by some strong performances from the leads. Director Ryan Gielen keeps the action firmly in the viewers’ faces, and whilst this is not a graphic movie it does deliver some very uncomfortable moments.

Believe Limited’s DVD release comes with plenty of extras for you to work through, including an audio commentary from Gielen and the cast, and overall is definitely worth checking out. It isn’t the type of film that offers up instant gratification, instead it will fester in your mind and really does warrant repeat viewings in order to fully digest the dark events on screen.

Drinking Games is released on DVD by Believe Limited and is available now.

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