It isn’t often that you see poker and horror genres mixed by movie directors, but that was the case in Greg Francis’ 2014 movie, Poker Night. Rookie cop Stan Jeter is invited to play at an annual home game of poker among veteran and retired police officers who, one by one, detail how they’d captured murder suspects in the past. Jeter is forced to use those experiences from around the poker table later in his bid to escape a psychopath, who kidnaps him and the daughter of a fellow police officer.
Favorable reviews followed from sites such as We Got This Covered who labeled it a “wild card” watch, and we agreed that there was enough on the table to warrant a viewing. Generally, poker and gaming tend to be used more often in funny television and film scenes that are far more light-hearted than James Bond’s tense final hand in Casino Royale or Jeter’s anonymous assailant, played by Michael Eklund. So, how else could movie directors incorporate this card game into a gripping horror film? Here are a few suggestions that aren’t that far-fetched.
A “zombie apocalypse” in Sin City – Las Vegas remains the entertainment capital of the world, so for a zombie apocalypse to break out on the Desert Strip, it would deliver the right amount of shock to viewers. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event enjoys thousands of entrants each year; many of whom make the one-off pilgrimage to the Rio All-Suite Hotel just to say they’ve played it once. A zombie outbreak on Day One of the Main Event would slowly work its way through the tournament. The plot would center on a guy who’s not only battling to reach the final table but to save his life against the zombified field. We’d even throw in a few high-profile poker pros for good measure — we’d pay to watch a zombified Daniel Negreanu or Barry Greenstein do their worst at the tables!
Halloween home games – How about the obligatory scary movie for October 31st in which a group of college students ventures away for a long weekend break in a secluded log cabin? The guys would play their own home game of poker, but as each player was knocked out of the tournament, they would go missing from the cabin shortly after, never to appear again. The eventual winner of the tournament would be terrified that everyone had left them in the cabin and search the property only to locate them all held hostage by a psychopath in the basement!
A 21st-century ransomware attack – Ransomware attacks are rifer than ever before. Cybercriminals have the know-how in the 21st century to attack large organizations and even governments online. Our third and final poker-themed horror movie suggestion would be a ransomware attack on the American government’s systems and data, infecting them with ransomware. The only way to retrieve the critical data — which details the U.S.’ nuclear armory and will be leaked to North Korea if the ransom isn’t paid — is for the president to defeat the prominent cyberterrorists at a heads-up game of Texas Hold’Em. The one-on-one battle would also be streamed live to the people of America, who watch in terror, knowing that the security of their nation relies on the outcome of this game.
Would you consider directing any of the above storylines? Or do you think they are too implausible? If you think you can come up with a better poker-themed horror movie suggestion, drop us a line in the comment box below.