unnamed (69)Offering a fresh and exciting angle to the kidnapping-gone-wrong film, Joshua Wagner& Thomas Zambeck’s THE BADGER GAME is a film that gives its viewers a story of desperation and revenge, and turns itself on its head to offer something exciting and different.

We’ve all seen a few dozen films dealing with kidnappings and the extremes people will go to, just to get some form of payback, whether it be monetary or a bloodlust towards those who have wronged them. What sets THE BADGER GAME so far apart from those other films, is that every single character is so developed within the type of person they are, that you HAVE to love the single mom almost forced into participating in the kidnapping of a rich womanizer; the scorned lover orchestrating the entire crime; the alpha male brother unafraid of getting his hands dirty (or in this case bloody); and the stripper who just wants in on the action.

Jillian Leigh’s Shelly character is one that just wants to do the right thing, and when her sometimes friend Alex (Augie Duke) ropes her into a plan to extort a cheating exec for breaking her heart, things begin to head downhill, and are soon made even worse, when Alex’s tough guy brother Kip (an intense performance by Patrick Cronen) and her stripper friend Jane (Sasha Higging) are revealed to also be a part of it. Shelly doesn’t want to be a part of it whatsoever, but her lack of money and the bills piling up, topped with an insane amount of peer pressure, are enough to stage the kidnapping.

While the kidnapping goes well, and the gang utilize some creepy yet interesting animal masks, things head into a pretty dark place, when the kidnapped Liam (Sam Boxleitner), figures out who his kidnappers are, meaning that blood has to be shed, leading to a film full of double and triple crossing, tons of backstabbing, murdering, and though it may seem odd, a decent amount of comedy. The interactions between the film’s characters are funny, even in darker moments, and its that touch that makes the film so interesting and causes you to want to know the characters even more.

As a viewer, you kind of want the gang to get away with their crime, but as they begin to unravel, your hands tense up, you hold your pants, and are thrust into one hell of a crime thriller that never lets up for a single second, one that just revels in its gritty-setup, and only gets more and more crazy as the film goes on. You genuinely don’t know who is and isn’t going to survive, who is going to turn on who, and who you WANT to walk away from the crime, if any one actually does.

A complete thriller of a film, THE BADGER FILM is one of the most entertaining crime films to hit audiences in quite some time, a film that goes for the jugular and smiles while the blood rushes right out.  A film packed to the gills with drama, terror and tension, a rare treat of a thriller.

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