Shall We Play? (2020)
Director (and co-writer): Anne Forry
Cast: Matreya Scarrwener, Michelle Creber, Jessica McLeod, Philip Granger, Dolores Drake, Blake Williams
A troubled teenage girl, downloads a new app, ‘Shall We Play?’ in an attempt to heal her past but unknowingly, the app possesses her into the game. – IMDB
As we all try to find the new game that can be turned into horror, Shall We Play tries to modernize a familiar game, Ouija except in this case its a phone app called Shall We Play which unleashes an evil that possesses its user. There’s really nothing wrong with the premise that Shall We Play aims for except a lot of things feels a little overused like sound cues, casting choices and even the sinister bits aren’t executed too well, making the movie feel increasingly frustrating to watch as it progresses especially when the beginning does start off well with some mystery and creepy atmosphere to eventually lose its way.
The biggest issue probably would be the writing that makes these characters seem a little flat. The flow having some issues as a result. The dialogue and conversations being one of the bigger issues. There are some characters like Grandma that feels like she’s trying to be creepy but also feels like its meant to be that way. an annoying character of the main character’s friend Jess and a scene that was supposed to be a turning point get really oddly scripted. The mom character also had some issues, not exactly the acting but just how the character dialogue gave her this really unbearable feeling.
With that said, the main character Stacy, played by Matreya Scarrwener was done really well. She was able to move through the possession phase well and grasping the different changes in her personality. At the same time, the character design of her the other friend Emma played by Michelle Creber was also a good element. They both seem reasonable as friends and work together logically.
Considering that the premise of evil possession isn’t exactly my cup of tea and the second half didn’t really give justice to how it started, Shall We Play definitely already starts off a little less in my favor. Shall We Play tries to be different but the script and dialogue that lets it down more than the atmosphere that it creates. There’s some decent use of sound design at the beginning and a couple of effective jumpscares so overall, a rather middling horror experience.