Starring Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Pollak, Nicholas Tucci, Bruce Dern
Directed by Marcus Graves
Every day we’re besieged by a series of usually mundane choices. What do I want to eat for breakfast? Should I wear the white shirt or the black shirt? Do I want to go to work or stay home and read Dread Central (we recommend the latter)? But what if these choices turned very serious very fast and you had just a mere sixty seconds to make one of the hardest decisions of your life?
That’s the question posed by director Marcus Graces in his latest film for IFC Midnight, Choose. Throughout the film a maniac is at large who, instead of just killing his victims, makes them decide between one of two things. For example … would a pianist choose to lose his hearing or his fingers? The ability to listen to music or play it. Could a model live without ever seeing the beautiful world around her, or would she rather retain her sight and become scarred and ugly?
These situations go on and on, and at first they seem completely unrelated. Until the daughter (Winnick) of the lead detective (Pollak) working on the case begins to be sent clues as to who said loony may be.
There are tons of twists and turns in Choose, and the good news is that most of them truly end up on the thought-provoking side of the fence. The trouble is that this is all too familiar territory paved by a certain maniac named Jigsaw who’s been doing something similar for nearly a decade. Don’t get me wrong; no one is bound in a room filled with traps here, and that goes miles in freshening up the scenarios a bit, but there’s still that recognizable scent of evil familiarity lingering in the air that — unfortunately for anyone making these kind of films — is not going anywhere.
That doesn’t mean Choose isn’t at the very least worth a look though. While it doesn’t really do anything new, it certainly doesn’t do anything wrong. Filled with solid performances by likable characters and some at times slick direction, the flick rises above the usual pack of copycats to deliver a world mostly of its own. That’s no easy feat nowadays.
3 out of 5