PLOT: A group of old friends gather for a nostalgic evening of fun and games after a decade apart. After one too many, they decide to play a drinking game, but it is quickly revealed that this game comes with supernatural bets.
OVERVIEW: I was sold Gatlop exactly from the plot summary. Supernatural version of Jumanji it seems so obvious that it is surprising that it was not done to death. Then there’s the very sequence of titles that sounds almost like Danny Elfman Beetle juice with his tone and cinematography. There is certainly a bizarre charm in the procedure, even if it is not present throughout the performance.
The story revolves around Paul, who is in the midst of a difficult divorce. His friends are desperate to get him out of his funk (and get back to his life), so they think one night of drunken games will do the trick. But the game they choose just turns out to have one with absurd consequences. While most of the film takes place in a lonely house, there are times when the film becomes fantastic and really shows its personality. This is where the film really shines.
Star and writer Jim Mahoney is doing a great job of keeping the story moving at a brisk pace. Before that he wrote the script for Klaus, which is one of the most imaginative Christmas movies of decades. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to add it to your next Christmas viewing rotation. Although the script here is not quite at this level, there is a lot of fun here. Mahoney also plays Paul and plays a strong leading man.
John Bass, who was absolutely hysterical on TBS Miracle workers, play to perfection idiot buddy. He is easily the highlight of the film and brings most of the laughter. Exposing him as a funny friend almost feels like a scam. Amy Raver-Lampman and Sarunas J. Jackson plays an ex-couple who are now just awkward friends. The dynamics feel very tired and any development of the story between them seems to take away from their natural performances. The least interesting plot of the film is easy.
I was a big fan of Shelley Henig from Hostileso it was nice to see her here. She’s had a series of roles playing arrogant evil women, and it’s really no different here. She’s easy to dislike and seems too aware of, so putting her up for an upset ex-wife is perfect. But there’s a little fun with the role in the end, which takes her away from a complete stereotype.
Gatlop he begins to hesitate a little when it comes to messages and dramatic moments. Although the comedy is consistent, the moments when it tries to make you feel something turn out to be very hollow. In the end, I don’t care about any of these characters, because all the attempts to give the prehistory of the characters are presented with such unpleasant qualities.
In terms of production, the film is very competently made. Although it is very obvious that this was filmed during the pandemic, this never interferes with his story. The fact that there are so few people is actually good for history. Although it’s always difficult for the average viewer when the cast in Los Angeles is just full of actors, writers and producers. Makes the world look very small.
With a total execution time of only 80 minutes (With credits), Gatlop is an easy to recommend movie. While the dramatic moments don’t work completely, the comedy more than makes up for it. It’s fun to watch these old friends play this crazy board game. Because while there’s a supernatural game at the center, the film is really about the importance of friendship and how much it can help you in dark times.
Gatlopp is available June 23 – on request and digitally!!