A woman meets her boyfriend's parents during their regular game night. But what begins as innocent fun, turns into a nightmare.
Liz is meeting the parents of her new boyfriend Pepijn for the first time at their family night, where it becomes clear that his mother, Ingrid, dominates as matriarch.
Meeting in-laws is never easy to do, but for Liz it’s complicated by the fact that Pepijn’s family takes playing very, very seriously. And when Ingrid is determined to win at any cost, it makes for one very stressful night for Liz.
Writer-director Jan Van Gorkum’s unique dark comedy possesses both a looseness and precision in capturing the unique familial dynamics of one particular family. Seen through the eyes of a newcomer, the short ably portrays a tapestry of human relationships, as well as the rollercoasters and upheavals they create for the family members.
Precise, funny and sharply observed writing lay out the minefield of tensions and power plays within the family, and the script is brought to life by a strong ensemble cast that handle both the very real drama while showcasing its absurdity. And when tensions come to a head, the film spins into unexpected directions that nevertheless make sense within the unique emotional dynamic of the family.
“Game Night” becomes increasingly tense and even twisted in its way, but the strong direction and craftsmanship navigates the turns with compelling skill and even elegance. With a memorable zinger of an ending, its examination of what it means to be a family should prove memorable, funny and highly ironic.
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