Hey folks, Valkor here. We all know, or I suspect most of you do, of the game “hangman”, right? Basically, you try and guess a word, letter by letter, and if you guess a letter wrong, you add a piece of a body (starting with the head), onto a noose. Get all the letters wrong and you’ve just killed your guy. Well, there’s a film that inadvertently follows a similar flow called “Hangman’s Game”; only parts aren’t added… they're taken away. Or at least, that’s the way it should have been. Read on and expect major spoilers.
“Hangman’s Game” focuses engineer Mark (Jason Chad Roth), who after a night out with some of his peoples and a couple of prostitutes, is kidnapped by a group of unsavory types. Now, the film doesn’t open this way, rather it starts with a phone call to his wife Samantha (Paula Estrada), from his company alerting her of the incident and how they bear no responsibility for the events that have unfolded. Back to Mark, who is strung up by his hands next to a hooker, his captors confront him but they only speak Spanish. And him not knowing any, he has to rely on the hooker to relay what the captors want. Turns out they want the passcode to a bank account that Mark denies having any access to. And if Mark doesn’t give up the code he faces death. His only link to the account is his associate Mauricio (Andres De La Fuente), who is being tortured for the info off-screen. Unable to get any details from him, Mark’s captors kill the first hooker he was strapped to, leaving him with hooker number two Vanessa (Vina Machado), who Mark confides in and promises to get her out alive.
After further pressures from his captors and even more denials, Mark finally admits that he knows the code and that it’s linked to a beeper device that he had in his pocket the entire time. The code checks out, but the bank needs an additional confirmation code in order to complete whatever transaction the kidnappers were trying to make. Mark again denies having this new code pushing the blame on Mauricio, who is again tortured. And with no one spilling their guts about the code, one of the kidnappers decides to play the “hanging man” game with Mark and Mauricio; he’ll ask them some questions and if they answer incorrectly, he’ll start chopping off pieces. The “game” never really takes off and after even more pressures, Mark reveals the code as his wife’s name. The code works and in a crazy turn of events, Vanessa was in on the whole scheme! So now that they have what they want, what do they do with Mark? The thieves give the gun to Vanessa to finish the deed; however, she shoots the captors dead, leaving Mark alive to fend for himself. The End… I’m not kidding!
The idea of a torture film based around the “hangman” game excites me to no end! I mean what a concept and it could work out so well if properly executed. And while it didn’t really happen in “Hangman’s Game”, I’d like to see another filmmaker take the helm to bring this idea to full fruition! Because with “Hangman’s Game”… it was a missed opportunity.
“Hangman’s Game” is a pretty decent film all-around; even though I expected more (more tortures), the film itself takes off running and doesn’t stop until that crazy, yet predictable ending. Now I have my objections to the story, or rather events that that did (or did not) happen, but, for the most part, I was pleased with the 87-minute event. The film does have a few tense moments and while it certainly could have used more, what you get should definitely keep your attention. The acting is also decent and winner for me goes to Vina Machado as Vanessa, who tears it up and looks great even when she’s a terrible mess. So to “Hangman’s Game”, I must say, you’re an OK film that I rather enjoyed you, even though you’re a missed opportunity at bringing a fun game to scary life. Still, I think you guys should check it out.
First up, the film is centered on Mark and the info he claims he doesn’t have... but he does. So why is it that the dude goes through THE ENTIRE film barely untouched? He doesn’t lose a finger or stabbed - nothing! That, to me, doesn’t make much sense since he’s the real link to the money. And what’s even worse is that they torture Mauricio and kill one of the hookers, who were both meaningless! Even Vanessa, who Mark was attempting to protect, served no purpose. Sure they bonded, but come on if it was anyone else and their life was on the line, they’d choose their own life over a hooker. So I’m glad she turned on him, took the money and ran. Finally, the film needed more torturing, which I thought was heading that way when dude mentioned the "hanging man" game. I sat up in my chair and I was prepared for the gruesome fun... but it never really happened. A good chunk of it happens off-screen, but we as the audience needed some visuals of what was happening. We get to see a little when Mauricio is brought out as they slice off a couple of fingers, but it really needed more – so much more! FYI, if you'd like to see a serious torture film (and yes, you do), check out "Grotesque".
“Hangman’s Game” is available now on Amazon Instant video; and if you’re looking for something a little different, then you might one to give this one a try. I dig the concept, and to some degree it was pretty entertaining, but it could have been so much more. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m gonna meet “Hangman’s Game” in the middle with 2.5 stars.