Gamespotting: Black Heaven

, | Movie reviews

Netflix somehow convinced me to watch a French thriller called Black Heaven. Until I knew what was going on, it was a nifty thriller with an appealing cast and an even more appealing location. So that’s why people talk about the south of France! But then it turns out it’s about a videogame.

The game in the movie is called Black Hole, and it seems to consist only of people walking around, voice chatting with each other (ha!), and having cybersex (not shown, although the movie isn’t nearly so shy about its IRL sex). The obvious inspiration is Second Life. In fact, the French title of the movie is L’autre Monde, which means The Other World.

There is apparently keyboard mashing combat in Black Hole with a hefty death penalty and the option to loot characters you’ve killed. In other words, the sorts of thing no modern online game with any reasonably large player base would do. The interface is minimalist to the point of being non-existent. Obviously, the filmmakers want their videogame to look more like an animated movie than a videogame. Also obviously, they are as clueless about actual videogaming as the folks who made Gamer with Gerard Butler and that NBC cop show Life in which the police hack a computer by getting to level ten of Prince of Persia.

One of these days, someone will make a movie that actually shows how people play videogames online. Until then, for a much better hybrid of thriller and videogames, please see the Spanish movie King of the Hill (El rey de la montana) without reading anything about it.