So, you haven’t made any preparations for the holidays, you don’t know who to spend them with, or you prefer spending time alone but are at a loss as to what you might do if you were home alone on Christmas Day. If that’s the case, you’ve reached your final location without any detours.
Here are 35 of the best movies about games of death that will give you the willies, leave you dumbfounded, and make you question your existence, yet you can’t stop watching them.
1. The Hunger Games film series
The 2012 blockbuster Hunger Games was based on the trilogy of books The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), and Mockingjay (2010), which were all turned into movies. It was not only a big hit at the box office, but it was also a scary but interesting look into the future.
The story focuses on the future in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, located in North America, which has 12 districts ruled by the city of Capitol.
From those 12 districts, one boy and one girl are chosen by a lottery system and are forced to fight in a public arena for their district to earn food supplies for the year and participate in the televised competition between those 12 states.
- Director: Gary Ross
- Writers: Gary Ross(screenplay)Suzanne Collins(screenplay)Billy Ray(screenplay)
- Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
- Where to watch: Mxplayer
Jennifer Lawrence in the movie The Hunger Games
2. The Running Man
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in The Running Man, a film that is only tangentially based on the novel of the same name written by Stephen King.
Schwarzenegger plays a wrongfully accused police officer who gets his chance at freedom in a television program where convicts are fleeing to protect their lives from trained assassins. In the program, the convicts are running for their lives.
This movie will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time since it is so jam-packed with unexpected turns and twists.
- Director: Paul Michael Glaser
- Writers: Stephen King (based on the novel by) Steven E. de Souza(screenplay by)
- Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto
The saw is a film franchise consisting of nine pictures and is the ideal holiday gift this year.
The first eight films in the Saw franchise are based on the fictitious serial killer John “Jigsaw” Kramer, while the ninth film in the series is based on a copycat serial killer aiming to replicate him.
Jigsaw kidnaps his victims, but rather than killing them, and he puts them in life-threatening situations that he refers to as “tests” or “games.”
He does this to test their will to survive by subjecting them to physical or psychological suffering. Jigsaw believes that if his victims are able to survive, they will be “rehabilitated.” The film is filled with intense graphic violence and terrifying jump scares.
- Director: James Wan
- Writers: Leigh Whannell(story by)James Wan(story by)
- Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire
Who hasn’t heard of the Harry Potter film series? When I was a youngster, all I wanted to be was a part of the Harry Potter universe, and I still do.
We are all familiar with Harry and his friends and how he is settling into Hogwarts this year. There is a Triwizard tournament where different schools come together, and only senior players are allowed to participate, but somehow Harry also gets part of this, and things take a sharp from each part of the competition, from Dragons to Merpeople to winning the tournament.
- Director: Mike Newell
- Writers: Steve Kloves(screenplay)J.K. Rowling(novel)
- Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
- Where to watch: Amazon
5. The Purge
The Purge is a dystopian action horror franchise set in a future crime-free United States. However, things take change when the city observes “The Purge” from March 21 at 7 p.m. to March 22 at 7 a.m., during which all crimes, including murder, are decriminalized.
The event begins upon the activation of an emergency broadcast system and is governed by certain rules.
Each Purge film has a unique plot, with some being better than others, but they all pose the question, “What would you do if every sort of crime were decriminalized for 12 hours?”
- Director: James DeMonaco
- Writer: James DeMonaco
- Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder
- Where to watch: Amazon
6. Maze runner
Filmmaker Wes Ball adapted James Dashner’s dystopian science fiction novel The Maze Runner into a popular film franchise.
Thomas, a 16-year-old with no memory of his past, wakes up in a malfunctioning underground elevator and finds himself and a group of other guys dropped in the middle of a complex maze, where they are met by people who call themselves “Glade” and told that the only way out for them is through this Maze. This Film series features many plot twists that will keep viewers glued to the screen.
- Director: Wes Ball
- Writers: Noah Oppenheim (screenplay by) Grant Pierce Myers (screenplay by) T.S. Nowlin (screenplay by)
- Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
- Where to watch: Hotstar
7. After the dark
In this psychological horror film set in a high school, a student named Petra is at the center of the plot. Her Psychology teacher, Mr. Zimit, challenges his class of twenty students with an exercise in which they must select ten individuals who, in the event of a nuclear apocalypse, will seek refuge underground and restart human civilization. This film is a special treat for fans of both science fiction and high school drama.
- Director: John Huddles
- Writer: John Huddles
- Stars: James D’Arcy, Sophie Lowe, Daryl Sabara
Cube is a science fiction horror movie that was released in Canada in 1997.
Quentin, Holloway, Worth, and Rennes are the five individuals who find themselves in the same room together after waking up in the same room together.
They do not know each other, and they have no idea how they got there or why they are there. They also hear mysterious sounds coming from outside the room they are in, and they have to figure out how to get out of there before they are trapped. None of them know how they got here or why they are here.
- Director: Vincenzo Natali
- Writers: André Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, Graeme Manson
- Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
9. The Tournament
The film is an action thriller. There are some of the craziest contestants in The Tournament because of the nature of the tournament, which is that you have to kill in order to win the tournament, and the last man who survives the tournament wins a cash prize of ten million dollars as you have to kill in order to win the tournament.
The story of The Tournament is about a group of wealthy and wealthy people who have formed an entertainment for themselves called “The Tournament.”
- Director: Scott Mann
- Writers: Gary Young, Jonathan Frank, Nick Rowntree
- Stars: Ving Rhames, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu
The film series that would have captivated you as a child and that you would have seen at least once on television, What began as a board game in the original Jumanji in 1995, releasing jungle-based perils with each move on its players, is now a video game in the new Jumanji, which will transport you inside the video game and transform you into one of its characters. This Fiction film series is both amusing and exciting.
- Director: Joe Johnston
- Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh (screenplay by), Greg Taylor(screenplay by), Jim Strain(screenplay by)
- Stars: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt
- Where to watch: Netflix
This movie, much like Jumanji, has a board game, but instead of letting loose wild creatures on the player, it whisks them away to another world.
The children’s book Zathura serves as the inspiration for the plot of the movie, which centers on two brothers named Danny and Walter Budwig. The boys find a mystery game in their basement and start playing it, but they are oblivious to the secrets that are in store for them.
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Writers: Chris Van Allsburg (book), David Koepp (screenplay), John Kamps(screenplay)
- Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard
12. Escape room
When six total strangers solve a puzzle cube together, they are invited to participate in an escape room with a $10,000 prize. They believe they have gathered for a challenging escape room, but they quickly learn the horrible truth: they are merely pawns in a vicious game of life and death.
Through teamwork, they are able to progress from one terrible situation to the next as they investigate and solve mysteries. However, they quickly realize that revealing their deepest, darkest secrets could be their only hope for survival.
- Director: Adam Robitel
- Writers: Bragi F. Schut (screenplay by), Maria Melnik(screenplay by)
- Stars: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis
- Where to watch: Netflix
13. Ready or not
Do you fondly remember playing the classic children’s game of “Hide and Seek”? This film will leave you with a lifelong fear of the same At. First, the film seems like a typical romantic movie, but things quickly take a dark turn when the bride is tricked into playing a game of hide-and-seek in which she risks being killed if she is discovered.
This film manages to be both tense and hilarious.
- Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
- Writers: Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy
- Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien
- Where to watch: Hotstar
The psychological horror film Circle is a film in which fifty strangers are held captive in a circle and are unable to move from the situations in which they find themselves.
They first feel that leaving the place where they are standing is what is killing them, but they quickly discover that, in reality, they have the power to pick who will be killed. They also believe that leaving their current positions is what is killing them.
- Directors: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione
- Writers: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione
- Stars: Allegra Masters, Aimee McKay, Ashley Key
- Where to watch: Netflix
16. House of 9
One of my worst nightmares, as is shown in the psychological horror movie House of 9, is being locked inside a house with no way to escape.
A similar scenario is depicted in the film House of 9, which takes place in a house that is inhabited by nine strangers who have been kidnapped and held within with no way out; the house has no rules, and the last person to live is awarded a prize of five million rupees.
This thriller features excellent performances and plenty of twists.
- Director: Steven R. Monroe
- Writer: Philippe Vidal(screenplay)
- Stars: Kelly Brook, Dennis Hopper, Hippolyte Girardot
17. Truth or Dare
All of our favorite memories memory of high school or college include playing Truth or Dare, but what if this Harmless game becomes deadly?
The problem arises when the Truth and Dare game turns into a life-threatening situation, with people starting to die if they do not fulfill the dare or tell the truth. The Truth or Dare is a horror movie with never-before-seen twists and turns and high school drama. So here’s a piece of advice: ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH.
- Director: Jeff Wadlow
- Writers: Michael Reisz(screenplay by), Jillian Jacobs(screenplay by), Christopher Roach(screenplay by)
- Stars: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
18. The Final Destination 5
If there is a film that has impacted a generation, it has to be Final Destination 5. Who can forget the bridge sequences and those terrible deaths? Doesn’t it still haunt us? Final Destination 5 was the final installment to be released from this franchise.
A person who sees people dying in the future and saves them, only to discover that he and his friends are in danger since they cannot outrun death, and one by one, his friends start dying as well. If you haven’t seen Final Destination 5, brace yourself for scenes that will make you cover your eyes and haunt you for the rest of your life.
- Director: Steven Quale
- Writers: Eric Heisserer, Jeffrey Reddick(characters)
- Stars: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Arlen Escarpeta
19. The Hunt
A group of strangers learns that they are being hunted for the sport when they awaken in a forest while gagged, but the tables are turned when one of them outwits the pursuers. This movie makes sharp comments about how far apart Americans are on political issues, and the main character is a strong young woman who keeps going even though things are hard.
- Director: Craig Zobel
- Writers: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof
- Stars: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz
- Where to Watch: Amazon
20. Enders game
A future in which playing video games and being adept at them is the norm? Isn’t that every nerd’s dream? That is unless you were a part of Enders’ game.
In a future where aliens have attacked humans, a young man is picked by the International Military to head the team against a secret extraterrestrial race, but what happens next may surprise you.
- Director: Gavin Hood
- Writers: Gavin Hood(screenplay by), Orson Scott Card(based on the book Ender’s Game)
- Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld
- Where to watch: Netflix
21. The giver
Based on Lois Lowry’s The Giver, a dystopian novel for young adults published in 1993 in the United States. The film takes place in a seemingly idealistic society that turns out to be dystopian. Can you picture a world free of war and emotion? The young protagonist Jonas (Thwaites) finds his town’s sinister history and makes him understand he must find a way away while the villain stops him.
- Director: Phillip Noyce
- Writers: Michael Mitnick(screenplay), Robert B. Weide(screenplay), Lois Lowry(book)
- Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep
22. Mad Max Fury Road
Our list would be lacking if it did not include The Satanic Culture. The film is set in a dystopian future where resources like water and gasoline are in short supply, and its protagonists, Max, Imperator, and the woman rebels, must escape from their cruel cult leader with the help of a band of female convicts, a lunatic worshipper, and a vagabond named Max.
- Director: George Miller
- Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
- Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
23. Nine dead
A person wearing a mask abducts nine people and holds them captive in the same room. Every ten minutes, one of the hostages dies, and this pattern will continue unless the hostages can figure out how they are all connected.
Do you think that they will all figure out the answer, that they are all telling the truth, or that they will all perish? What do you think will happen?
- Director: Chris Shadley
- Writer: Patrick Wehe Mahoney(screenplay)
- Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, William Lee Scott, John Terry
24. The Condemned
A number of inmates who are awaiting execution are isolated on an island and made to fight one another to the finish. The entirety of the competition will be shown on television, and the winner will take home a substantial reward. Their independence.
- Director: Scott Wiper
- Writers: Scott Wiper(screenplay), Rob Hedden(screenplay), Andy Hedden(story)
- Stars: Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Nathan Jones
25. Logan’s Run
A fantasy, isn’t it, to live in a utopian world in which technology takes care of everything?
Based on the science fiction novel Logan’s Run by American authors William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, the plot revolves around a dystopian Malthusian society of the future in which technology does everything for humans.
The question is: what’s the catch? You, however, will be put to death the moment you reach the age of 30, but Logan has other ideas and hopes to evade his own demise; will he be successful in doing so?
- Director: Michael Anderson
- Writers: David Zelag Goodman(screenplay by), William F. Nolan(based on the novel “Logan’s Run”), George Clayton Johnson(based on the novel “Logan’s Run”)
- Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
Monder is a science fiction movie that was made in France. The plot of Monder follows a woman who is involved in an accident and wakes up in a confined space with peculiar lights on the walls and what appears to be no means to leave. She wears something unusual on her wrist that emits a yellow light, and it appears to be a device.
- Director: Mathieu Turi
- Writer: Mathieu Turi
- Stars: Gaia Weiss, Peter Franzén, Romane Libert
27. No escape
This is the age of social media, and everyone wants to film everything they do so they can brag about it to their friends on various social media platforms; this movie is only loosely connected to that concept.
Cole Turner, a popular figure on social media, goes to Moscow with his pals in order to gather fresh material for his popular video blog.
However, Cole has two distinct selves—one that he presents on social media and another that he keeps hidden. Cole is constantly pushing the boundaries and attempting to appeal to his audience, which has led him and his friends to enter a chilly world filled with excess, danger, and mystery.
- Director: John Erick Dowdle
- Writers: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
- Stars: Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Owen Wilson
- Where to watch: Netflix
28. Would you rather
Desperate to help her brother, Iris, the main protagonist, seeks out Shepard Lambrick, a philanthropist, for assistance.
He calls her and others for dinner with continuation to a game of “would you rather” at his place in which you must choose whether you would rather kill the person in front of you or yourself, and you must choose whether you would rather kill the person in front of you or yourself.
- Director: David Guy Levy
- Writer: Steffen Schlachtenhaufen
- Stars: Brittany Snow, June Squibb, Jeffrey Combs
29. Fermat’s Room
I’m not sure how many of you despise math; I do, and after seeing this movie, I despise it even more.
An enigma has been presented to four different mathematical experts for them to solve.
Once they reach the location, they are placed in a chamber that is gradually shrunken by a mechanical device and given one minute to solve each riddle using their cellphones while simultaneously determining why they have been brought there.
- Directors: Luis Piedrahita, Rodrigo Sopeña
- Writers: Luis Piedrahita, Rodrigo Sopeña
- Stars: Alejo Sauras, Elena Ballesteros, Lluís Homar
30. My Little Eye
In the film My Little Eye, five grownups agree to spend six months locked in a mansion together, being recorded at all times. However, things take a terrifying turn when they begin to suspect that they aren’t alone in the house.
- Director: Marc Evans
- Writers: David Hilton(screenplay)James Watkins
- Stars: Sean Cw Johnson, Kris Lemche, Stephen O’Reilly
A Japanese thriller mystery movie from 2005. The plot of Haze centers on a man who wakes up to find that he has been imprisoned in a claustrophobic concrete maze of hallways, where he has very little room to move around. He cannot recall the events leading up to his current location or how he arrived there.
He has suffered a severe injury to his stomach and is currently bleeding to death. As he crawls onward, he ultimately comes across a woman.
- Director: Shin’ya Tsukamoto
- Writer: Shin’ya Tsukamoto
- Stars: Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Takahiro Murase, Takahiro Kandaka
Eight people are confined in a single room together for a corporate job interview, and they have eighty minutes to find the answer to a single question.
However, there are three restrictions placed on the candidates, and they are not allowed to deface their papers, leave the room, or communicate with the invigilator or the armed guard at the door.
Should they do so, they will be eliminated from the competition; nevertheless, if there is nothing written on the question sheet, then what is the question, and what are they supposed to answer?
- Director: Stuart Hazeldine
- Writers: Stuart Hazeldine(story), Simon Garrity(story)
- Stars: Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox
33. 13 sins
Elliot Brindle, who has no money, no job, a lot of debt, and family members to take care of, receives a phone call from an unknown person who offers him to do 13 sins, each one more sinister than the one before it, and with each task, he will be rewarded money into his bank account that can help him. He agrees to do the tasks, only to find out the horror that it has in store for him after he completes them.
- Director: Daniel Stamm
- Writers: David Birke(screenplay by), Daniel Stamm(screenplay by), Chookiat Sakveerakul (source
- Material: “13: Game of Death” by)
- Stars: Mark Webber, Devon Graye, Tom Bower
34. The Belko Experiment
Where is the worst possible spot to become trapped? Home? Washroom? School? The correct response is really your workplace, populated by coworkers whom you do not particularly care for.
In the film “The Belko Experiment,” a group of people is cooped up in an office with nowhere to go when a voice comes over the speaker and informs them that they are now taking part in a lethal game in which they have two hours to play and the goal is to kill 30 of them; if they do not kill 30 of them, then the remaining 60 people will also perish. The Belko Experiment tells the story of this terrifying scenario.
- Director: Greg McLean
- Writer: James Gunn
- Stars: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona
I know what you’re thinking: “What if one day you sleep, and when you wake up, no one recognizes you?” The plot of the suspenseful action film Unknown revolves around the main character, Martin Harris, who is involved in an accident and finds that neither his wife nor his friends remember him. He then has to work hard to establish his identity and figure out what has happened to him.
- Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
- Writers: Oliver Butcher(screenplay), Stephen Cornwell(screenplay), Didier Van Cauwelaert (novel “Out of My Head”)
- Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones
- Where to watch: Netflix
So which of these movies are you going to watch this holiday season? Whatever it might be, don’t forget to be scared, terrified, and horrified while watching. Have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.