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Game Night and 4 other movies where gaming goes wildly out of control


A seemingly ordinary murder mystery evening spells chaos for Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams in new comedy Game Night, on release this Friday.

They play an uber-competitive couple who are thrown in the deep end when their game night host is kidnapped. The rub is, they're not sure if this is all part of the immersive experience, or something more dangerous...

The movie has proven a critical and commercial success and went down a storm with our own Unlimited members. (Check out their responses here.) So in the spirit of things, we thought we'd round up four other movies in which the simple act of gaming took unexpected turns...


Released 1983

Type of game Video game

Life is pretty ordinary for nerdy teenager David Lightbody (Matthew Broderick) – until his latest gaming excursion on 'Global Thermonuclear War' (that should have set alarm bells ringing) leads into a full-blown hack of NORAD's nuclear launch codes. This fondly remembered eighties comedy adventure joyously runs with its daffy premise – teenager inadvertently starts World War III – and it all begins with a seemingly innocuous console creation. Be warned.


Released 1995

Type of game Board game

"Run! It's a stampede!" Robin Williams plays a man who emerges from the eponymous board game in this hit family adventure (recently updated with Dwayne Johnson) – and the bad news is, he brings all its assorted wildlife and chaos with him. The movie is most famous for unleashing a (then cutting-edge) CGI animal stampede on American suburbia. It's all a result of the mysterious Jumanji board game that lures players in with the following: "A game for those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind."

The Game

Released 1997

Type of game It's a mystery

Michael Douglas plays an arrogant investment banker whose life turns upside down in David Fincher's typically twisty thriller. Douglas excels as the man whose latest birthday present, a game from a company known as 'Consumer Recreation Services', plunges him into a host of dangerous and outlandish scenarios. Will the experience of playing make him a better person? Douglas' subtle performance as a man unravelling in front of our eyes is one of many reasons why the film is so captivating.


Released 1999

Type of game Virtual reality

Master of the surreal David Cronenberg here presents one of his most unsettling scenarios: an immersive virtual reality simulation that actively blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the creator of eXistenZ, a game that requires gamers to port in using unnervingly fleshy pods and attachments resembling umbilical cords. But when she's forced to go on the run with bodyguard Jude Law, it all starts to unravel, messing with our heads in a host of gruesome ways.

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