Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Directed by: Edward McGown
Starring: Charlie Bewley, Jack Doolan, Jack Gordon
While judging a film from its opening few minutes may be considered a bit pre-emptive, it will do you a favour if those first few minutes are the first few minutes of Bachelor Games. Pitched somewhere between The Hangover and The Hills have Eyes, this Brit horror-comedy follows Henry (Jack Gordon) and his group of mates on his stag do. After a night of shots, strippers and more shots, the group decide to take a hike on the Argentinian Andes but it all takes a turn for the worst when a local myth starts picking off the group one by one.
British cinema has always struggled when it comes to blending horror and comedy, when it works it really works, just look at Shaun of the Dead, but when it doesn’t work it really doesn’t. And sadly, Bachelor Games is another British horror comedy that misses the mark. If the dialogue isn’t clichéd, it’s disgustingly misogynist offering up such poetry as “I’d like to chop that in half like a bit of firewood” and “looks like a paedophiles funeral”. Characters feel one-dimensional – Jack Doolan’s Terence has been ripped straight out of a Danny Dyer film – and exactly why there is a PTSD suffering ex-Marine in the group never really makes much sense.Director Edward McGown has experience of shooting with the likes of David Attenborough and aesthetically, it shows with sweeping shots of the Argentinian landscape but it’s all ruined once the characters open their mouths and the narrative unfolds. The film attempts at something that resembles a twist yet it feels like a weak attempt to use up running time, rather than a bold move to advance the plot, resulting in a narrative that feels uncooked and poorly thought out. Worse still, its obsession with the central group is so distracting that the Hunter figure has no real presence within the film, instead being left to feel like a thinly veiled afterthought.
Bachelor Games’ biggest issue is it takes itself way too seriously. The best examples of this genre, Shaun of the Dead and Cockneys vs Zombies, both knew when to pay homage and when to make a joke out of itself, but this intelligent level of self awareness and adoration for it’s genre is painfully absent here. With predictable jump scares, A-level acting and a plot that is all too familiar, it might pay off to be pre-emptive.
Bachelor Games is available on iTunes from 8 July.