‘Choose or Die,’ directed by Toby Meakins, is a horror movie that revolves around Kayla, a young girl who comes across a retro 80s video game. In hopes of claiming the game’s $125,000 prize money, Kayla decides to play the game, only to find herself in increasingly dangerous situations. As Kayla tries to save her life, she learns more about the mysterious game called ‘CURS>R.’ But what does ‘CURS>R’ actually mean? And why is the name significant to the movie’s plot? If you are looking for answers to these questions, here is everything we have gathered on the matter! SPOILERS AHEAD!
What is the Meaning of CURS>R?
In the movie, ‘CURS>R’ is the name of the video game that Kayla and Isaac discover in Isaac’s collection of 80s technology. It is an 8-bit retro game that is created using analog data and features an old wrapper code. The game puts the players in a dangerous situation and presents them with two options. Both options are equally damaging, but choosing one ensures that the player completes the level and moves on to the next one.
While trying to figure out a way to claim the prize money and terminate the game without falling prey to the game’s twisted machinations, Kayla and Isaac discuss the game’s code and notice that it does not have a command prompt or cursor. Thus, it is evident that ‘CURS>R’ is a wordplay on “Cursor,” which in the programming language is used to point to a particular row in a set of rows comprising data. In a video game, a cursor helps the player guide their characters in a particular direction. In ‘CURS>R,’ the cursor appears as a “>” sign. Thus, the game’s title appears as a stylized version of a key component of retro gaming.
However, viewers learn the true meaning behind the game’s title during the film’s final act. Isaac and Kayla track down the game’s developers to a warehouse, where they find an old videotape. The tape show’s the game’s creator, Beck, experimenting on an unnamed man. Beck explains that he has tapped into the powers of the cursed symbols and converted them into a code. These symbols hold the power to influence anyone who has been “cursed” using them. The person who casts the curse benefits from the damage caused to the cursed person and is known as the “curser.” Thus, the meaning of the word “curser” is quite literally applied to the game’s title.
Ultimately, ‘CURS>R’ serves as a meta-reference to the game’s old school program, a component of gaming, and the actual nature of the game. By combining the various references into the game’s title, the makers keep the viewers guessing about the game’s origin and creation. In the end, all is revealed as the truth about the cursed symbols comes to light. Interestingly, the film was initially titled ‘CURS>R.’ However, the name was later changed to ‘Choose or Die,’ likely due to marketing reasons. Nonetheless, the unique title and its meta significance add a fresh flavor to the film’s aesthetic.