Choose or Die ending explained – does Kayla beat the game?

April 15, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Ending Explained, Netflix, Streaming Service

This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film Choose or Die, which will contain spoilers.

Ready Steady Cut film critic M.N. Miller said about Choose or Die, “Choose or Die is a slick horror rehash that surprisingly works despite its obvious faults.

As the film opens, we see a spoiled teenage boy yelling at his mother. They are in the middle of a heated argument at the dinner table. The father (a wonderfully maniacal Eddie Marsan) comes out from his man cave and turns back quickly, muttering under his breath. When he starts to play a game called “CURS>R,” he begins almost to narrate what is going on around him. The game then asks, “His tongue, her ears? Choose or Die!” He picks his tongue and then hears something from the kitchen. He goes outside, and the lights are off. His wife is holding a butcher knife, and his son is bleeding from his mouth. The mother has no idea how this has happened.

We then move on to Kayla (Iola Evans), a young woman who desperately wants to be a coder. She cleans a building every night in hopes of saving enough for school, but she also is supporting her mother. She has turned to drugs after the death of her son and Kayla’s little brother, Ricky. His friend, and potential love interest, Isaac (Asa Butterfield), is also a coder who pays her a little money on the side to program. He receives a letter attached to an obscure early 80s computer game called CURS>R. It promises a $100,000 grand prize if he can win the entire game. He dismisses it, but Kayla takes the bait.

The game introduces her to another level of any electrical device she is near, like a cellphone, computer, laptop, television, etc. A judgemental waitress ends up eating classic front Kayla. Her mom is bitten by an angry, blood-thirsty rat living in her walls. When she brings in Isaac, they are transported into a dream-like sequence where Kayla has to kill her little brother to have them both.

They find a VHS tape when they get to the second to last level. Of course, they hit play. There is talking, and he looks manic. His name is Beck (played by Joe Bolland), and he explains the code that is a complete mystery to the hacker hopefuls. Beck uncovered ancient symbols known to create curses, and they have been dormant for thousands of years. Of course, he establishes a code out of them. They range from ‘”blood,” “drown,” “fire,” and “pain,” and it appears Beck has unleashed it within modern technology.

Beck has been experimenting and taping a young man who is reasonably annoyed at being kept in a room for hours with no food, water, or communication. So, Beck asks him by typing a message, “Eat the computer, eat your arm? Choose or die!” The kid, laughing, picks eat your arm and says he is going to kick Beck’s a*s when he gets out. Then, Beck pulls out a knife and proceeds to cut himself. The guy then begins to eat his arm against his own will. You will notice Beck’s arm heals as the guy mutilates himself.

Netflix film Choose or Die ending explained

So, Kayla and Isaac cheat to get to the next level by cracking the code, and Beck makes him pay for it. You’ll remember Isaac saw any of those shenanigans would result in punishment. So, Beck punishes him by placing him in an HBO opening static world where Kayla is forced to rewind and fast forward a never-ending amount of what looks like an old-school stock film from VHS tapes. By the time Kayla gets to him, he has bled out and died.

The final level is the “big boss battle” between Marsan’s Hal and Kayla. Hal is stunned when he realizes he is not to be the game’s hero. They fight each other, but when Hal attacks Kayla, it hurts him. So, to win the game, they must punish themselves. When Hal is about to shoot himself in the head, he runs out of bullets. So, Kayla drowns herself by pinning herself in the pool under a heavy statue. (At this point, it should be stated Hal has been torturing his family, and his wife and son have been invited in the fight to free themselves of his clutches).

The film ends with Beck calling Kayla to ask if she wants to keep playing. She says yes, but only against people who deserve it. Something tells me a sequel is in the works, and Kayla will aim to take Beck down since he and the game are a metaphor for toxic masculinity and control.

What did you think of ending the Netflix film Choose or Die? Comment below!

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