A significantly bloodier Hunger Games BEFORE the Hunger Games

*SPOILERS ALERT* For anyone who has never seen Battle Royale, treat yourself!

This Japanese thriller (based on a 1999 novel of the same title and released in 2000) provides intriguing internal and external conflicts that speak directly to the human psyche.

At the start of the film, a group of high school students is randomly selected by the government. Their selection, however, isn’t one of good fortune.

The government uses the selected group to remind the children of the country, and their parents, how powerful the government is and how ruthless their punishment could be if they were to ever step out of line.

Pretty much from the start of the film, the children are introduced to a government mercenary who instructs them how they are to survive the event: be the last remaining person alive at the end of the time limit.

Each person is fitted with a detonation device around their neck to assure that individuals participate in the elimination of their classmates. The students will either have to be the lone survivor within the given time – ensuring that he/she kills at least one other person – or no one leaves the island alive.

To make the event even more terrifying, the participants are randomly given one weapon. The only real choice the students are provided with during the film is how they utilize that weapon.

In a true test of the human psyche, in which the human condition of survival is tested, allegiances are formed, friendships are destroyed, loyalties are tested, and the bonds between people are severed.

At the end of the film, be careful. You just may find yourself asking which of the students you would have been

Article written by Michael Donaldson

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