From the producer of The Witch and the writer of The OA, The Friendship Game follows a group of teens as they come across a strange object that tests their loyalties to each other and has increasingly destructive consequences the deeper into the game they go. Directed by Scooter Corkle, and written by Damien Ober. Starring Cobra Kai’s Peyton List, Brendan Meyer (“The OA”), Kelcey Mawema (To All the Boys I’ve Loved franchise), Kaitlyn Santa Juana (“The Flash”) and Dylan Schombing (“Watchmen”). Director Scooter Corkle intended the story to be «an addition to the Cosmic Horror pantheon.» He also adds, «I love a good Creature Feature, but as a filmmaker, I’m most interested in the monster within.»
As the movie centers on a group of high school students, the focus is really on the heightened feeling of friends acting as a lifeline, Corkle describes it as, «I looked at friendships in my own life, and asked the question: what if my best friends left me behind? As an adult, the weight of that question doesn’t quite compare to someone in high school — full of hormones and just beginning one’s journey — but it was in this personal exploration that more questions and feelings began to swell. Here’s more from Director Scooter Corkle on Zooza and the game.
If your friendships don’t survive the game, neither do you. This simple statement taps into that childhood fear and acts as a narrative metaphor, by making the stakes truly life and death. When one of the best friends goes missing after playing the game, our characters are forced to look inward, mostly through the eyes of our lead character Zooza as she wrestles with her fear of abandonment and resentment of her absent father. She must confront the monster within or no one will survive the game. The Friendship Game is built to keep the audience guessing and make them active participants in the journey, so it was important to keep Zooza as the emotional core so they don’t get lost along the way. As a film that explores the intangible madness of teenage friendship, the characters had to lead the narrative, with the Friendship Game becoming this mythical mechanism that allowed them to do so; in a twisted Lovecraftian kind of way of course.