I Declare War is a good indie about kids whose game of “war,” played in the forest near their home, turns very serious. Perhaps not quite as serious as the trailer would suggest — while kids are running around with real guns in their hands this is no Red Dawn scenario. Rather, the film lets us see what is in the head of each kid as they fight in the game. So a stick becomes a rifle or a bazooka thanks to the imagination of each player.
While the weapons are imaginary, the power struggle and final stakes are very real — this game will be the way that many of the players start to grow up. I really enjoyed I Declare War when it played Fantastic Fest. In part because it is a weird, entertaining movie, but also because it deals with those moments of maturity in a way that really works for the characters. Check out the new trailer below.
Drafthouse Films has definitely put its own spin on the film by cutting this footage in the vein of ’80s action movies. That really emphasizes the action part of the movie, but there’s more to I Declare War than the shooting.
I Declare War opens on VOD July 26, and will hit some theaters on August 30.
Armed with nothing more than twigs, their imaginations and a simple set of rules, a group of 12-year-olds engaged in a lively game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods start dangerously blurring the lines between make-believe and reality. Rocks = Grenades. Trees = Control towers. Sticks = Submachine guns. The youthful innocence of the game gradually takes on a different tone as the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship. The would-be warriors get a searing glimpse of humanity’s dark side as their combat scenario takes them beyond the rules of the game and into an adventure where fantasy combat clashes with the real world.