–A family invites a stranger over for dinner and to participate in family game night. The stranger quickly learns this is a game he has never played before.–
People often say we do not know what happens “behind closed doors.” We picture quiet neighborhoods with beautiful old homes. We see them as safe havens; communities filled with upper middle-class professionals who have their kids in bed by nine so they can enjoy some couples time and crash after the late show host’s monologue; all the while dreaming of their next vacation as a family. Nothing sinister would ever happen in such a place.
Family Game Night is one of those films where the audience knows from the beginning something is just “a bit off” with this family. They seem like nice, reasonably successful people but there is just something a little unnerving about them.
This short horror/comedy is entertaining and in combination with some intentional over-the-top deliveries, it is well-written and well-acted. The cast works well together and they gel like a real family. Meredith Heinrich is a standout. Her timing is excellent and she is truly believable as a suburban mom who is sweet, caring and wants nothing but the best for her family but also has not forgotten the life she had before children.
Short, independent films are not known for stellar sound and video editing, good lighting and high-quality production value but in that respect, Family Game Night delivers a very solid product.
The film is set in one general location and stays focused on its mission to hold interest. This one is worth a look if you have the ten minutes to spare. It just finished the festival circuit but keep an eye out for this one. It would be interesting to see where this story could go if expanded into a feature. It might also have you taking a second look at your neighbors, especially if they invite you over for family game night.