“[The idea is that] if you work hard and you’re brilliant, or if you just work hard, then you’ll work your way out of poverty,” Meakins explains. “It’s all just about you achieving, and you trying. Tell that to four billion people in the planet. It’s utter fucking rubbish. There is no choice for Kayla at the beginning of this film. She’s been put into this situation and she’s got to fight whatever way she can to get out of it. The moral question raised by the movie at the end is about whether Kayla’s character should even be using the curse to benefit herself. Well, if it was me, and I was in her position, would I? I would.”
It’s a murky ending that sees Kayla choosing violence and a unique kind of vigilante justice for those who have threatened her family, and she swears that going forwards she will only make “people who deserve it” suffer, but it remains to be seen how far into the dark Kayla would go now that she wields the curse.
The filmmakers approached Choose or Die’s grim twist carefully, asking themselves if they could create an appealing anti-hero in Kayla: “Hopefully, you get to the end and you still like Kayla enough to go, ‘Yeah, Lance deserved that, and I get it. I get it because now you’ve got choice. You’ve got a choice to have a better life for yourself and your mom.’”
And what of the origins of the mysterious curse that are left unexplained in the movie? Well, you may be pleased to hear that Meakins and Allen have already planned out a lot of the mythology behind it.
“We didn’t just write a feature script for this,” Meakins says. “We have this curse going back to when the first pilgrims went to America, during the period where people were so hungry that they were digging up bodies and eating the leather belts on those they buried. We even know where it came from in Europe. We know what we’d want to do with the story going forwards with a prequel, a sequel, or even a TV show.”
The ending of Choose or Die also lifts the game limitations of the curse, leaving it ripe for more exploration, even in an anthology format. “You can do a lot with the idea of a curse that you use to gain something by causing suffering to somebody else. It could be the smallest amount of suffering, and you could get smallest amount of gain, or it could be a huge amount of suffering, and a huge amount of gain. If I want $10, how much suffering does a person have to endure for me to get it?”