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Bachelor Games (2016)

Bachelor-GamesHenry is about to marry the love of his life, so he and the guys go to Argentina for an epic bachelor party/trip.  Once there, there’s booze, strippers, and drugs before a sobering hike in the mountains where they meet a mystical figure called The Hunter and things get bloody.

The film is written by Chris Hill and Sam Michell who created a believable group of friends with problems and normal lives.  None of the five leads are perfect; they all have issues, giving them humanity when they could have easily been caricatures like in The Hangover series.  These guys are close, or used to be, and it shows through their interactions.  Of course, not all the situations they are put in are realistic given the Hunter figure but having built a believable setting with human characters, the mystical or paranormal works as well.

This script is brought to the screen by Edward McGown a mostly non-fiction director.  His nature documentary eye shows in how he shoots the mountains in which the five men go on a hike.  Here he crafts a movie that looks beautiful and is suspenseful once the creepy figure of the Hunter shows up.  He also brings his actors together in a way that works, whether they are having fun or fighting.

The cast of Bachelor Games is good with a couple of very strong performances.  Jack Gordon as the groom to be, Henry, brings many layers to his character that starts off happy and then shows conflict and worry.  His character has possibly the most to lose and the most to learn in the bad situation they find themselves in.  As Henry’s best man/friend Leon, Charlie Bewley brings layers of slightly off, slightly creepy, womanizing, party boy with no regrets over anything he’s done.  That is until he starts fearing for his life and reconsidering what is important in life.  Both of their characters have interesting arcs and their performances go with that.

The rest of the cast does well too, Jake Doolan does a convincing drug-addicted bro as Terrence, Mike Noble shows sensitivity as Roy, and Obi Abili brings us an attempting-to-be happy army man with potential PTSD.  However, viewers should not be fooled by these performances as almost nothing is as it appears here. The film works as a drama and as a mystery/thriller, it even works as a horror film as it has a lot of elements of the genre in it.  The Hunter figure is creepy and adds a chilling element while its design is beautiful.  The film has some blood but no real gore to speak of.  The blood looks really good and real, even in bright light.  They do not shy away from it or hide it in darkness, the violence leads to blood as it should and is clearly shown.

Also worth noting for this film is the cinematography by Lucio Bonelli who brings extensive film experience to director Edward McGown’s documentary experience to get the film to look beautiful and creates an almost dreamlike feel to the images, particularly when in the mountains.  Some of the images are a bit on the over-exposed side, but it works with the settings and with the mysterious circumstances, bringing more to them and showing that creepy and mystical creatures can be just as effective in bright daylight.

While Bachelor Games is not the scariest film, it’s well-crafted and entertaining.  The story has a twist but it’s early enough to not be annoying or film destroying, it actually adds to the film.  The performances are good to very good; the writing brings a potentially very basic story into a more interesting one.  The film is shot beautifully and makes you want to travel even with the risks shown.  The whole of the film is good and worth a watch for sure.

Bachelor Games is now on VOD.